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EG 20.1 1Introduction

EG 20.1.1

1The CCA Order gives the FCA the power to enforce the CCA through the application of its investigation and sanctioning powers in the Act by reference to the contravention of CCA Requirements and criminal offences under the CCA. The FCA's investigation and sanctioning powers include the following:

  • power to censure or fine an approved person, or impose a suspension or a restriction on their approval under section 66 of the Act, for being knowingly concerned in a contravention by the relevant authorised person of a CCA Requirement;
  • power to require information and documents, under section 165 of the Act, it reasonably requires in connection with the exercise of the functions conferred on it by the CCA Order;
  • power to appoint an investigator under section 167 of the Act for reasons related to its functions under the CCA Order;
  • power to appoint an investigator under section 168 of the Act where there are circumstances suggesting that an offence under the CCA may have been committed or that a person may have failed to comply with a CCA Requirement;
  • power to impose a requirement under section 196 of the Act on an incoming firm by reference to the contravention or likely contravention of a CCA Requirement;
  • power to censure (under section 205 of the Act) or fine (under section 206 of the Act) an authorised person, or impose a suspension or restriction on their permission (under section 206A of the Act) for the contravention of a CCA Requirement;
  • power to apply to the court for an injunction under section 380 of the Act by reference to the contravention or likely contravention of a CCA Requirement;
  • power to apply to the court for a restitution order under section 382 of the Act by reference to the contravention of a CCA Requirement;
  • power to impose a restitution requirement under section 384 of the Act by reference to the contravention of a CCA Requirement; and
  • power to prosecute under section 401 of the Act an offence committed under the CCA.

EG 20.1.2

1The FCA's approach to taking enforcement action under the CCA Order will mirror 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, responsive to the issue and consistent with its publicly stated policies. It will also seek to ensure fair treatment when exercising its enforcement powers. Finally, it 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.

EG 20.1.3

1The FCA has decided to adopt procedures and policies that it currently has in place for the enforcement of the Act in exercising its powers to enforce the CCA. Key features of the FCA's approach are described below.

EG 20.2 1Information gathering and investigation powers

EG 20.2.1

1The CCA Order applies much of Part 11 of the Act. The effect of this is to apply the same procedures under the Act for appointing investigators and requiring information when investigating contraventions of the CCA Requirements and offences committed under the CCA.

EG 20.2.2

1The FCA will notify the subject of the investigation that it has appointed investigators to carry out an investigation under the CCA Order and the reasons for the appointment, unless notification is likely to result in the investigation being frustrated. The FCA expects to carry out a scoping visit early on in the enforcement process in most cases. The FCA's policy in civil investigations under the CCA Order is to use powers to compel information in the same way as it would in the course of an investigation under the Act.

EG 20.3 1Decision making under the CCA Order

EG 20.3.1

1The RDC is the FCA's decision maker for decisions which require the giving of warning or decision notices under the CCA Order, as set out in DEPP 2 Annex 1G. The RDC will make its decisions following the procedure set out in DEPP 3.2 or, where appropriate, DEPP 3.3.

EG 20.3.2

1The CCA Order does not require the FCA to publish procedures about its approach towards the commencement of criminal prosecutions. However, the FCA will normally follow its equivalent decision-making procedures for similar decisions under the Act as set out in EG 12.

EG 20.3.3

1The CCA Order does not require the FCA to publish procedures about its approach towards applications to the court for an injunction or restitution order. However, the FCA will normally follow its equivalent decision-making procedures for similar decisions under the Act as set out in EG 10 and EG 11.

EG 20.3.4

1The CCA Order requires the FCA to give third party rights as set out in section 393 of the Act and to give access to material, as set out in section 394 of the Act, in relation to warning notices and decision notices given under the CCA Order.

EG 20.3.5

1The CCA Order applies the procedural provisions of Part 9 of the Act, as modified by the CCA Order, in respect of matters that can be referred to the Tribunal. Referrals to the Tribunal in respect of decision notices given under sections 67 (pursuant to article 3(3) of the CCA Order) and 208 (pursuant to article 3(7) of the CCA Order) of the Act are treated as disciplinary referrals for the purpose of section 133 of the Act.

EG 20.4 1Public censures, imposition of penalties and the impositions of suspensions or restrictions in relation to contraventions of the Consumer Credit Act 1974

EG 20.4.1

1When determining whether to take action to impose a penalty or to issue a public censure in relation to the contraventions of a CCA Requirement, 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 relevant principles and factors in DEPP 6.5 to DEPP 6.5B, DEPP 6.5D and DEPP 6.7.

EG 20.4.2

1As with cases under the Act, the FCA may settle or mediate appropriate cases involving civil contraventions of CCA Requirements 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 20.4.3

1When determining whether to take action to impose a suspension or restriction in relation to the contraventions of CCA Requirements, 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 suspension or restriction, the FCA's policy includes having regard to relevant principles and factors in DEPP 6A.3.

EG 20.4.4

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

EG 20.5 1Prosecution of criminal offences under the Consumer Credit Act 1974

EG 20.5.1

1The FCA's policy with respect to the prosecution of criminal offences is set out in EG 12 and applies to the prosecution of CCA offences under section 401 of the Act. The FCA will not prosecute a person for an offence under the CCA in respect of an act or omission where the FCA has already disciplined the person under section 66, 205, 206 or 206A of the Act in respect of that act or omission.