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EG 19.33 The Small and Medium Sized Business (Finance Platforms) Regulations 2015

EG 19.33.1

1The Small and Medium Sized Business (Finance Platforms) Regulations were made under the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act. The Small and Medium Sized Business (Finance Platforms) Regulations require designated banks to provide specified information about rejected loan applications made by small and medium sized business customers (with their consent) to designated finance platforms which must then provide such information to finance providers on request. The Treasury is the body that has the power to designate a bank or finance platform and may revoke such a designation.

EG 19.33.2

As 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.

Information gathering and investigation powers

EG 19.33.3

Regulation 23 of the Small and Medium Sized Business (Finance Platforms) Regulations applies many of the provisions of the Act in relation to the FCA’s investigation and information-gathering powers in respect of designated banks and designated finance platforms. The effect of this 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 (Finance Platforms) Regulations.

EG 19.33.4

For 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 Regulations is to use powers to compel information, in the same way as it would in the course of an investigation under the Act.

Decision making under the Small and Medium Sized Business (Finance Platforms) Regulations

EG 19.33.5

The 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 (Finance Platforms) 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 19.33.6

Regulation 43 of the Small and Medium Sized Business (Finance Platforms) Regulations applies to the procedural provisions of Part 9 of the Act, in respect of matters that can be referred to the Tribunal, and regulation 41 of the Small and Medium Sized Business (Finance Platforms) Regulations applies to Part 26 of the Act to warning and decision notices given under the Small and Medium Sized Business (Finance Platforms) Regulations.

Public censures, imposition of penalties and the impositions of restrictions under the Small and Medium Sized Business (Finance Platforms) Regulations

EG 19.33.7

When determining whether to take action to impose a penalty or to issue a public censure under the Small and Medium Sized Business (Finance Platforms) 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 19.33.8

As with cases under the Act, the FCA may settle or mediate appropriate cases involving breaches of the Small and Medium Sized Business (Finance Platforms) 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 19.33.9

When determining whether to take action to impose a restriction under regulation 27 of the Small and Medium Sized Business (Finance Platforms) Regulations, the FCA’s policy includes having regard to the relevant factors in DEPP 6A.2 and 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 19.33.10

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