24 October 2013

An enforcement warning notice is the first stage of enforcement by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Regulated businesses, which may hope to avoid the later stages of enforcement will not want their receipt of such a notice to be published widely as it may affect their standing and reputation. Nonetheless, after a period of consultation and as widely anticipated, the decision has been taken to publish information through a warning notice statement where warning notices are issued on or after 15 October 2013. Prior to this change, information would only be published on the issue of a decision notice or final notice.

The FCA has now confirmed details of how it proposes to exercise its power to publicise information about enforcement warning notices. 

Not all warning notices will be publicised, but the presumption is in favour of publication of a statement and for the statement to contain the identity of the firm in question. The same presumption does not apply to the identity of an individual. The published statement will also include sufficient information to enable consumers, firms and market users to understand the nature of the FCA’s concerns.

When deciding whether or not to publish statements, the FCA will consider the circumstances of each case and will take into account any evidence that publication would be unfair. This process will include a consultation with the firm or person under investigation. In practice, of course, the likelihood of publicity over enforcement proceedings before the firm has had the opportunity to make formal representations on the case against it will add to the pressure for an early settlement which is already exerted through the early settlement discount scheme.

Key contact

Matthew Walker

Matthew Kaltsas-Walker Partner

  • Dispute Resolution
  • Financial Services
  • Insurance

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