The Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) regulates the conduct of more than 56,000 businesses. Whether you are regulated or unregulated, any business or individual can face an enquiry or a criminal investigation by the FCA.
The investigation may start with an invitation to attend a compelled interview. Compelled interviews are a long-standing feature of the criminal and regulatory landscape in the UK. The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has the power to compel persons to answer questions under section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987. The Financial Conduct Authority has a similar power under section 171 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA).
Responding to an enquiry or an investigation by the FCA requires specialist knowledge and care to avoid enforcement action including: prohibition of individuals carrying out regulated activities, withdrawing a firm’s authorisation, suspension, fines, making public announcements about disciplinary action and criminal investigations.
Powers of the FCA range from: regulation under the Financial Services Markets Act 2000; regulating EU and UK Competition Law including use of cartels and other potentially anti-competitive agreements and the abuse of dominant persons; and prosecuting criminal offences including those under the Fraud Act 2006 or the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Compliance at the early stages of the enquiry or investigation could avoid matters escalating into a criminal investigation. ABV Solicitors have a wealth of experience in these matters and can provide you with the specialist knowledge and guidance each step of the way.
Whether you are seeking advice to ensure that your business is compliant, have received an enquiry letter, require representation at an interview conducted by the FCA or facing a criminal investigation, contact a member of our specialist team.