1Under section 166 of the Act, the FCA has a power to require a firm and certain other persons to provide a report by a skilled person, or itself to appoint a skilled person to produce such a report. The FCA may use its section 166 power to require reports by skilled persons to support both its supervision and enforcement functions.
If the FCA's objectives for making further enquiries are predominantly for the purposes of fact finding i.e. gathering historic information or evidence for determining whether enforcement action may be appropriate, the FCA's information gathering and investigation powers under sections 167 and 168 of the Act are likely to be more effective and more appropriate than the power under section 166.
If the FCA's objectives include obtaining expert analysis or recommendations (or both) for, say, the purposes of seeking remedial action, it may be appropriate to use the power under section 166 instead of, or in conjunction with, the FCA's other available powers.
1Where it exercises this power, the FCA will make clear both to the firm and to the skilled person the nature of the concerns that led the FCA to decide to appoint a skilled person and the possible uses of the results of the report. But a report the FCA commissions for purely diagnostic purposes could identify issues which could lead to the appointment of an investigator and/or enforcement action.
1Under section 166A of the Act, the FCA also has a power to require a firm to appoint a skilled person to collect or update information, or itself to appoint a skilled person to do so, where it considers that the firm has failed to provide information required by the FCA or update information previously provided to the FCA.