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DEPP 3.1 The Regulatory Decisions Committee

DEPP 3.1.1 G RP

1The Regulatory Decisions Committee (RDC) is a committee of the FSA Board. It is part of the FSA. It exercises certain regulatory powers on behalf of the FSA and is accountable to the FSA Board for its decisions generally.

DEPP 3.1.2 G RP

  1. (1)

    The RDC is separate from the FSA's executive management structure. Apart from its Chairman, none of the members of the RDC is an FSAemployee.

  2. (2)

    All members of the RDC are appointed for fixed periods by the FSA Board. The FSA Board may remove a member of the RDC, but only in the event of that member's misconduct or incapacity.

DEPP 3.1.3 G RP

The RDC has its own legal advisers and support staff. The RDC staff are separate from the FSA staff involved in conducting investigations and making recommendations to the RDC.

DEPP 3.2 The operation of the RDC

RDC meetings and composition of panels

DEPP 3.2.1 G RP

The RDC meets as often as necessary to discharge its functions. It may do so, in appropriate cases, in writing or by telephone or email or other electronic means. The RDC meets in private.

DEPP 3.2.2 G RP

The RDC may meet as a full committee, but will ordinarily meet in panels. Each meeting of the RDC will generally include:

  1. (1)

    its Chairman or a Deputy Chairman (who will chair the meeting); and

  2. (2)

    at least two other members.

DEPP 3.2.3 G RP

The composition and size of panels of the RDC may vary depending on the nature of the particular matter under consideration. In cases in which representations are made, it will be usual for the panel that is to consider the representations and decide whether to give a decision notice to include additional members of the RDC who have not previously considered the matter.

Conflicts of interest

DEPP 3.2.4 G RP

The RDC will seek not to invite a member to join a panel to consider a matter in which he has a potential conflict of interest.

DEPP 3.2.5 G RP

  1. (1)

    If a member of the RDC has a potential conflict of interest in any matter in which he is asked to participate he will disclose the conflict to the RDC Office, and disclose it:

    1. (a)

      in the case of the Chairman of the RDC, to the Chairman or Deputy Chairman of the FSA; or

    2. (b)

      in the case of a Deputy Chairman of the RDC, to the Chairman of the RDC, or if he is unavailable to the Chairman or Deputy Chairman of the FSA; or

    3. (c)

      in the case of any other member, to the Chairman or a Deputy Chairman of the RDC.

  2. (2)

    If the person to whom a conflict has been disclosed in accordance with (1)(a) to (c) considers it reasonable and appropriate, he will require the member of the RDC to stand down from consideration of that matter. He may ask another member of the RDC to assist him in considering the potential conflict.

DEPP 3.2.6 G RP

The RDC Office will record and document all disclosures of potential conflicts of interest and the steps taken to manage them.

Procedure: general

DEPP 3.2.7 G RP

The RDC will follow the procedure described in this section, but subject to that it will conduct itself in the manner the RDC Chairman or a Deputy Chairman considers suitable in order to enable the RDC to determine fairly and expeditiously the matter which it is considering.

DEPP 3.2.8 G RP

Each member of the RDC present is entitled to vote on the matter under consideration. The chairman of the meeting will have a vote as a member of the RDC and will have the casting vote in a tie.

DEPP 3.2.9 G RP

The RDC Chairman or a Deputy Chairman may, acting alone, decide:

  1. (1)

    matters relating to the arrangements for an RDC meeting, including its timing; and

  2. (2)

    the composition of the panel to consider a particular matter.

DEPP 3.2.10 G RP

If the RDC considers it relevant to its consideration, it may ask FSA staff to explain or provide any or all of the following:

  1. (1)

    additional information about the matter (which FSA staff may seek by further investigation); or

  2. (2)

    further explanation of any aspect of the FSA staff recommendation or accompanying papers; or

  3. (3)

    information about FSA priorities and policies (including as to the FSA's view on the law or on the correct legal interpretation of provisions of the Act).

DEPP 3.2.11 G RP

The RDC has no power under the Act to require persons to attend before it or provide information. It is not a tribunal and will make a decision based on all the relevant information available to it, which may include views of FSA staff about the relative quality of witness and other evidence.

Procedure: warning notices and first supervisory notices

DEPP 3.2.12 G RP

If FSA staff consider that action is appropriate in a matter for which the RDC is the decision maker, they will make a recommendation to the RDC that a warning notice or a supervisory notice should be given.

DEPP 3.2.13 G RP

In accordance with DEPP 2.2 the RDC will consider whether it is right in all the circumstances to give the statutory notice.

DEPP 3.2.14 G RP

If the RDC decides that the FSA should give a warning notice or a first supervisory notice:

  1. (1)

    the RDC will settle the wording of the warning notice or first supervisory notice, and will ensure that the notice complies with the relevant provisions of the Act;

  2. (2)

    the RDC will make any relevant statutory notice associated decisions;

  3. (3)

    the RDC staff will make appropriate arrangements for the notice to be given; and

  4. (4)

    the RDC staff will make appropriate arrangements for the disclosure of the substantive communications between the RDC and the FSA staff who made the recommendation on which the RDC's decision is based. This may include providing copies in electronic format.

Procedure: representations

DEPP 3.2.15 G RP

  1. (1)

    A warning notice or a first supervisory notice will (as required by the Act) specify the time allowed for making representations. This will not be less than 28days.

  2. (2)

    The FSA will also, when giving a warning notice or a first supervisory notice, specify a time within which the recipient is required to indicate whether he wishes to make oral representations.

DEPP 3.2.16 G RP

  1. (1)

    The recipient of a warning notice or a first supervisory notice may request an extension of the time allowed for making representations. Such a request must normally be made within 14days of the notice being given.

  2. (2)

    If a request is made, the Chairman or a Deputy Chairman of the RDC will decide whether to allow an extension, and, if so, how much additional time is to be allowed for making representations. In reaching his decision he may take account of any relevant comments from the FSA staff responsible for the matter.

  3. (3)

    The RDC staff will notify the relevant party and the FSA staff responsible for the matter of the decision in writing.

DEPP 3.2.17 G RP
  1. (1)

    If the recipient of a warning notice or a first supervisory notice indicates that he wishes to make oral representations, the RDC staff, in conjunction with the Chairman or a Deputy Chairman of the RDC, will fix a date or dates for a meeting at which the relevant RDC members will receive those representations.

  2. (2)

    In making those arrangements the RDC staff will draw the Chairman's or Deputy Chairman's attention to any particular issues about the timing of the meeting which have been raised by the recipient of the notice or the relevant FSA staff.

DEPP 3.2.18 G RP

The chairman of the relevant meeting will ensure that the meeting is conducted so as to enable:

  1. (1)

    the recipient of the warning notice or first supervisory notice to make representations;

  2. (2)

    the relevant FSA staff to respond to those representations;

  3. (3)

    the RDC members to raise with those present any points or questions about the matter (whether in response to particular representations or more generally about the matter); and

  4. (4)

    the recipient of the notice to respond to points made by FSA staff or the RDC;

but the chairman may ask the recipient of the notice or FSA staff to limit their representations or response in length or to particular issues arising from the warning notice or first supervisory notice.

DEPP 3.2.19 G RP

The recipient of the warning notice or supervisory notice may wish to be legally represented at the meeting, but this is not a requirement.

DEPP 3.2.20 G RP

In appropriate cases, the chairman of a meeting for oral representations may ask those present to provide additional information in writing after the meeting. If he does so, he will specify the time within which that information is to be provided.

DEPP 3.2.21 G RP

The RDC will not, after the FSA has given a warning notice or a first supervisory notice, meet with or discuss the matter whilst it is still ongoing with the FSA staff responsible for the case without other relevant parties being present or otherwise having the opportunity to respond.

Procedure: decision notices and second supervisory notices

DEPP 3.2.22 G RP

If no representations are made in response to the warning notice or first supervisory notice, the FSA will regard as undisputed the allegations or matters set out in the notice and the default procedure will apply: see DEPP 2.3.2 G to DEPP 2.3.4 G.

DEPP 3.2.23 G RP

However, if representations are made, in accordance with DEPP 2.3.1 G the RDC will consider whether it is right in all the circumstances to give the decision notice or a second supervisory notice (as appropriate).

DEPP 3.2.24 G RP

If the RDC decides that the FSA should give a decision notice or a second supervisory notice:

  1. (1)

    the RDC will settle the wording of the notice which will include a brief summary of the key representations made and how they have been dealt with, and will ensure that the notice complies with the relevant provisions of the Act;

  2. (2)

    the RDC will make any relevant statutory notice associated decisions, including whether the FSA is required to give a copy of the notice to a third party; and

  3. (3)

    the RDC staff will make appropriate arrangements for the notice to be given.

DEPP 3.2.25 G RP

If the RDC decides that the FSA should not give a decision notice or a second supervisory notice the RDC staff will notify the relevant parties (including the relevant FSA staff) in writing of that decision.

Discontinuance ofFSA action

DEPP 3.2.26 G RP

FSA staff responsible for recommending action to the RDC will continue to assess the appropriateness of the proposed action in the light of new information or representations they receive and any material change in the facts or circumstances relating to a particular matter. It may be therefore that they decide to give a notice of discontinuance to a person to whom a warning notice or decision notice has been given. The decision to give a notice of discontinuance does not require the agreement of the RDC, but FSA staff will inform the RDC of the discontinuance of the proceedings.

Tribunal proceedings

DEPP 3.2.27 G RP

A decision by the RDC to give a decision notice or supervisory notice may lead to a reference to the Tribunal under the Act. The conduct of proceedings before the Tribunal is not however a matter for the RDC.

DEPP 3.3 Straightforward decisions

DEPP 3.3.1 G RP

In statutory notice cases for which the RDC is the decision-maker, the Chairman or a Deputy Chairman of the RDC may take a straightforward decision to give the statutory notice.

DEPP 3.3.2 G RP

The Chairman or, if he is unavailable, a Deputy Chairman will decide whether a decision is straightforward. In doing so he will have regard to all the circumstances. These may include:

  1. (1)

    the significance of the decision to those who would be affected by it;

  2. (2)

    its novelty in the light of stated policy and established practice;

  3. (3)

    the complexity of the relevant considerations, including whether representations have been made;

  4. (4)

    the range of alternative options;

  5. (5)

    the extent to which the facts relating to the decision are or may be disputed.

DEPP 3.3.3 G RP

The RDC Chairman or a Deputy Chairman may, notwithstanding the fact that a decision is straightforward, take the decision to give the statutory notice jointly with one or more other members of the RDC if he considers it appropriate to do so.

DEPP 3.4 Urgent supervisory notice cases

DEPP 3.4.1 G RP

In urgent supervisory notice cases for which the RDC is the decision maker, the decision to give the supervisory notice may be taken by the RDC Chairman or, if he is unavailable, a Deputy Chairman, and, if it is practicable, one or more other RDC members.

DEPP 3.4.2 G RP

The RDC Chairman or Deputy Chairman will take such a decision only if satisfied that the action proposed should occur before it is practicable to convene an RDC panel.

DEPP 3.4.3 G RP

In an exceptionally urgent case the decision to give a supervisory notice may be taken by a member of the FSA's executive of at least director of division level if:

  1. (1)

    FSA staff consider that the action should be taken before a recommendation to the Chairman or a Deputy Chairman of the RDC can be made; and

  2. (2)

    an urgent decision on the proposed action is necessary to protect the interests of consumers.

DEPP 3.4.4 G RP

In the circumstances described in DEPP 3.4.3 G, the FSA considers that it may be necessary for an FSA director of division to take the decision to give the supervisory notice even if he has been involved in establishing the evidence on which the decision is based, as permitted by section 395(3) of the Act. Where practicable, however, FSA staff will seek to ensure that the FSA director has not been so involved.