EG 19.31 The Small and Medium Sized Business (Credit Information) Regulations21

EG 19.31.1RP

1The Small and Medium Sized Business (Credit Information) Regulations were made under the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act. The Small and Medium Sized Business (Credit Information) Regulations impose a duty on designated banks to provide information about their small and medium sized business customers (with the consent of those businesses) to designated credit reference agencies. The Treasury is the body that has the power to designate a bank or credit reference agency and may revoke such a designation.

EG 19.31.2RP

1As the provision of credit data on companies is not a regulated activity under the Act, the Regulations create a separate monitoring and enforcement regime but apply, or make provision corresponding to, certain aspects of the Act. The FCA's approach to taking enforcement action under the Regulations will reflect its general approach to enforcing the Act, as set out in EG 2. It will seek to exercise its enforcement powers in a manner that is transparent, proportionate and responsive to the issue and consistent with its publicly stated policies. It will also seek to ensure fair treatment when exercising its enforcement powers.

1Information gathering and investigation powers

EG 19.31.3RP

1Regulation 26 of the Small and Medium Sized Business (Credit Information) Regulations applies many of the provisions of the Act regarding the FCA’s investigation and information-gathering powers to designated banks and designated credit reference agencies. The effect is to apply the same procedures under the Act for appointing investigators and requiring information when investigating any breaches of the Small and Medium Sized Business (Credit Information) Regulations.

EG 19.31.4RP

1For example, the FCA will notify the subject of the investigation that it has appointed investigators to carry out an investigation and the reasons for the appointment. The FCA's policy in regulatory investigations under the Small and Medium Sized Business (Credit Information) Regulations is to use powers to compel information, in the same way as it would in the course of an investigation under the Act.

1Decision making under the Small and Medium Sized Business (Credit Information) Regulations

EG 19.31.5RP

1The RDC is the FCA’s decision maker for some decisions which require warning notices or decision notices to be given under the Small and Medium Sized Business (Credit Information) Regulations, as set out in DEPP 2 Annex 1G. The RDC will make its decisions following the procedure in DEPP 3.2 or, where appropriate, DEPP 3.3 or DEPP 3.4. For decisions made by executive procedures, the procedure to be followed will be those described in DEPP 4.

EG 19.31.6RP

1Regulation 46 of the Small and Medium Sized Business (Credit Information) Regulations applies the procedural provisions of Part 9 of the Act, in respect of matters that can be referred to the Tribunal, and regulation 44 of the Small and Medium Sized Business (Credit Information) Regulations applies Part 26 of the Act to warning and decision notices given under the Regulations.

1Public censures, imposition of penalties and the impositions of restrictions under the Small and Medium Sized Business (Credit Information) Regulations

EG 19.31.7RP

1When determining whether to take action to impose a penalty or to issue a public censure under the Small and Medium Sized Business (Credit Information) Regulations, the FCA’s policy includes having regard to the relevant factors in DEPP 6.2 and DEPP 6.4. When determining the level of financial penalty, the FCA’s policy includes having regard to the relevant principles and factors in DEPP 6.5, DEPP 6.5A, DEPP 6.5D and DEPP 6.7.

EG 19.31.8RP

1As with cases under the Act, the FCA may settle or mediate appropriate cases involving breaches of the Small and Medium Sized Business (Credit Information) Regulations to assist it to exercise its functions. DEPP 5, DEPP 6.7 and EG 5 set out information on the FCA’s settlement process and the settlement discount scheme.

EG 19.31.9RP

1When determining whether to take action to impose a restriction under regulation 30 of the Small and Medium Sized Business (Credit Information) Regulations, the FCA’s policy includes having regard to the relevant factors in DEPP 6A.2 and DEPP 6A.4. When determining the length of the period of restriction, the FCA’s policy includes having regard to the relevant principles and factors in DEPP 6A.3.

EG 19.31.10RP

1The FCA will apply the approach to publicity that is outlined in EG 6.