1The FCA's effective and proportionate use of its enforcement powers plays an important role in the pursuit of its statutory objectives, including its operational objectives of securing an appropriate degree of protection for consumers, protecting and enhancing the integrity of the UK financial system, and promoting effective competition in the interests of consumers. For example, using enforcement helps to contribute to the protection of consumers and to deter future contraventions of FCA and other applicable requirements and financial crime. It can also be a particularly effective way, through publication of enforcement outcomes, of raising awareness of regulatory standards.
The effectiveness of the regulatory regime depends to a significant extent on maintaining an open and co-operative relationship between the FCA and those it regulates.
The FCA will seek to exercise its enforcement powers in a manner that is transparent, proportionate, responsive to the issue, and consistent with its publicly stated policies.
The FCA will seek to ensure fair treatment when exercising its enforcement powers.
The FCA will aim to change the behaviour of the person who is the subject of its action, to deter future non-compliance by others, to eliminate any financial gain or benefit from non-compliance, and where appropriate, to remedy the harm caused by the non-compliance.
1Enforcement is only one of a number of regulatory tools available to the FCA. As a risk based regulator with limited resources, throughout its work the FCA prioritises its resources in the areas which pose the biggest threat to its statutory objectives. This applies as much to the enforcement tool as it does to any other tool available to it. The next section of this chapter summarises how in practice the FCA takes a risk based approach towards its use of the enforcement tool, and the subsequent sections comment on other aspects of the FCA's approach to enforcement.
1Where a firm or other person has failed to comply with the requirements of the Act, the rules, or other relevant legislation, it may be appropriate to deal with this without the need for formal disciplinary or other enforcement action. The proactive supervision and monitoring of firms, and an open and cooperative relationship between firms and their supervisors, will, in some cases where a contravention has taken place, lead the FCA to decide against taking formal disciplinary action. However, in those cases, the FCA will expect the firm to act promptly in taking the necessary remedial action agreed with its supervisors to deal with the FCA's concerns. If the firm does not do this, the FCA may take disciplinary or other enforcement action in respect of the original contravention.