- Solicitors For Business
- Solicitors For You
- About Us
- News & Events
FCA Investigations Help and Guidance
If your business is facing an investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), JMW can provide help and guidance in order to achieve the best outcome. Our team is highly experienced in guiding companies through the enforcement process and can provide expert advice and representation in cases before the Magistrates Court, Crown Court, Tribunals and High Court.
JMW can advise in cases before both the lower and higher courts, where penalties range from a fine to seven years' imprisonment.
The offences cover a range of misconduct including:
- Falsely claiming to be FCA-authorised
- Carrying on a regulated activity without authorisation
- Making misleading statements to induce investments
- Failing to co-operate with FCA investigations
Other authorities also have the power to prosecute these offences, including the Crown Prosecution Service, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and the Serious Fraud Office. We regularly represent clients in cases brought by these authorities and we work with other experts to ensure that clients receive the best possible representation in what can be complex enquiries.
The FCA regulates the financial services industry in the UK, including most financial services markets, exchanges and firms. It has powers to make rules and to investigate and enforce the regulations when the required standards are not met. The powers enable it to take action against regulated and non-regulated firms and individuals.
The FCA came into being in April 2013 as both it and the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) replaced the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The FSA was responsible for the regulation of the UK's financial services industry, but was abolished following perceived regulatory failure of the banks during the financial crisis. The FCA aims to ensure markets work well and that consumers get a fair deal, while the PRA aims to promote the safety of financial firms.
A single handbook of rules and guidance for all authorised firms carrying out business in the UK is produced by the FCA. The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA) sets out the four statutory objectives for the authority:
- Market confidence
- Financial stability
- Consumer protection
- The reduction of financial crime
These objectives are supported by a set of principles of good regulation to which the FCA must have regard when discharging its functions.
The FSMA allows the FCA to take action including:
- Withdrawing a firm's authorisation
- Disciplining authorised firms and people approved by the FCA to work in those firms
- Imposing penalties for market abuse
- Applying to the court for injunction and restitution orders
- Prosecuting various offences
The FSMA also provides powers to take action under the insider dealing provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 1993 and the Money Laundering Regulations 2007. The same statute provides the power to interview people and require them to hand over documents. It also sets out the circumstances in which the FCA is allowed to use those powers. The FCA investigates people who carry out regulated activities - such as accepting deposits or giving investment advice - without authorisation. This is described by the FSMA as a breach of the general prohibition. Those breaking the law risk imprisonment and other sanctions.
JMW has a deep understanding of how the FCA works through its Regulatory Decisions Committee. Working with bespoke teams from different departments, we can tailor a solution for individuals and firms facing various action brought by the FCA, including:
- Civil action
- Criminal proceedings
Our Business Crime team has the experience and knowledge to help you successfully defend your business, giving you the very best chance of securing a favourable outcome that allows you to get on with what matters most - running your business.