1The FCA has certain functions in relation to what are described as “registrant-only” mutual societies including registered societies or registered friendly societies.2 These societies are not regulated or supervised under the Act. Instead, they are subject to the provisions of2 FSA74, FSA92, CCBSA14 and CCBSA(NI)693 which require them to register with the FCA and fulfil certain other obligations, such as the requirement to submit annual returns.2
3The Financial Services Act 2012 (Mutual Societies) Order 2018 is effective from 6 April 2018 and transfers the Northern Ireland registration function to the FCA. The FCA will be therefore registering Northern Ireland’s industrial and provident or co-operative and community benefit societies respectively under the CCBSA(NI)69 as modified by the Credit Unions and Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 and the Financial Services Act 2012 (Mutual Societies) Order 2018.
1The FCA's enforcement activities in respect of registrant-only societies focus on prosecuting societies that fail to submit annual returns. As registrant-only societies are not subject to the rules imposed by the Act and by the FCA Handbook, the requirement that they submit annual returns provides an important check that the interests and investments of members, potential members, creditors and other interested parties are being safeguarded. The power to prosecute registrant-only societies who fail to meet this requirement is therefore an important tool and one which the FCA is committed to using in appropriate cases.
1The decision whether to initiate criminal and other proceedings under these Acts will be taken in accordance with the procedure described in EG 12.1.7. Under these Acts,3 a society may appeal certain decisions of the FCA relating to the refusal, cancellation or suspension of a society’s registration to the High Court or, in Scotland, the Court of Session. 3Distinguishing features of the procedure for giving statutory notices under the FSA92, including available rights of reference to the Tribunal, are set out in DEPP 2.5.18G.22