As the conduct regulator of financial firms, financial markets and the individuals operating within them, the FCA carries out hundreds of investigations every year. The FCA enforcement activity covers criminal investigations and civil investigations.
A traditional focus upon keeping the integrity of financial markets and the removal of financial misconduct has now embraced wider concerns about non – financial misconduct which may bring the sector into disgrace. This includes allegations of sexual harassment by regulated individuals.
As the number of circumstances that fall within the FCA’s concern widens, so does the number of people investigated by them. The FCA regulates and can take action against banks and building societies. Investment bankers, stockbrokers and traders can also find themselves subject to FCA investigations, as can company directors of various businesses offering financial services. The Senior Managers and Certification Regime have broadened the scope of this to include insurers and solo regulated firms.
What powers do the FCA have during an investigation?
During an investigation, the FCA has a wide set of powers:
- The FCA can use interviews for the purpose of fact finding. This can take the form of interviews, voluntary interviews and interviews under caution for criminal investigations.
- The FCA can demand documents they consider necessary to their investigation. It can suspend the undertaking of FCA regulated activities, or impose hefty fines. The FCA also has the power to seek Restraint Orders or apply for Asset Seizure.
- Most concerning of all, the FCA can commence a criminal investigation and pursue a criminal prosecution. This creates the prospect of a custodial sentence and linked confiscation proceedings.
“MEETINGS WERE OFFERED AT ALL STAGES OF THE PROCESS, AND MY SOLICITOR [RAJ] ENSURED THAT EVERY STEP WAS TAKEN FOR A SUCCESSFUL RESULT IN MY CASE."
Why choose Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors?
Cases involving the Financial Conduct Authority can take many forms – from regulatory to criminal. It’s vital your lawyer has experience of dealing with this unique regulator. In addition, your lawyer should be highly knowledgeable in all aspects of criminal investigation and procedure. At HJA, our Financial Crime and Regulatory Lawyers work within the highly regarded Criminal Department. They’ve extremely experienced in handling all types of investigations by the FCA. They also deal with other regulators, giving them unparalleled experience in this area.
“A FIRM DEDICATED TO THE OLD-FASHIONED VIRTUE OF CONSCIENTIOUS HARD WORK IN PURSUIT OF THEIR CLIENTS' INTERESTS." Legal 500 – Ranked as Tier 1 (Crime), Independent Legal Directory
Largest ever Insider Dealing case in UK
Defending an individual charged as part of Operation Tabernula. This was the FCA’s largest ever investigation into insider dealing ever mounted in the UK. In that prosecution, we successfully secured the FCA dropping the charge of insider dealing.
Miss-selling of Shares
Defended an individual charged with miss-selling of shares in the context of alleged boiler room fraud.
Multi-million pound Confiscation Proceedings
Defending an individual contesting multi-million pound confiscation proceedings, prosecuted by FCA.
Advising a number of individuals subject to regulation in relation to investigations by the FCA into non-financial wrongdoing.
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Can the FCA conduct regulatory and criminal investigations together?
The FCA may seek to undertake back-to-back regulatory and criminal investigations. In these circumstances, our lawyers are knowledgeable and experienced in doing what’s necessary to successfully conclude an investigation, and working to avoid action being taken in either arena. Our lawyers are skilled in dealing in both arenas and can work with you to seek resolution of the matter within the regulatory sphere to avoid criminal proceedings.
If the FCA take criminal proceedings, what offences will they be concerned with?
There are different offences that the FCA could prosecute you for, including:
- Conspiracy to Defraud
- Insider Dealing and Market Manipulation
- Miss-selling of Shares
- Money Laundering
Our Financial Crime Team are highly experienced. We will help you to navigate the complexities of a prosecution, from fraud and financial crime, to business crime. Our Financial Crime Team Lawyers have overseen the highest profile and most complex FCA prosecutions ever in the UK.
What is the FCA task when it comes to regulation?
The FCA can pursue enforcement action in connection with various civil offences:
- Insider Dealing
- Unlawful Disclosure
- Market Manipulation, both actual and attempted
In addition, there’s the increased regulation of non-financial conduct that culminate in breaches of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime and the Principles for Businesses and Approved Persons.
Where regulatory action is taken by the FCA, we’re experienced in advising you in connection with all aspects of these proceedings.
We will assist with:
- Attending FCA Scoping Meetings with you
- Negotiating civil settlements on your behalf with the FCA
- Where necessary, challenging findings made by the FCA before the Regulatory Decisions Committee (RDC) and making references before the Upper Tribunal
We’re currently discreetly advising and guiding a number of professionals through this process.
What stands out about our regulatory team is our experience of having dealt with a wide array of regulators, not just the FCA. This includes the Association for Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the General Dental Council (GDC) and the General Medical Council (GMC) to name a few. Our broad regulatory experience allows us to deal with any regulatory action taken by the FCA against you.