EG 4.11 1Approach to interviews and interview procedures

EG 4.11.1

1Paragraph 4.7.1 explains the FCA's approach to the use of its statutory powers to require, amongst other matters, individuals to be interviewed. The type of interview is a decision for the FCA.

EG 4.11.2

1A person required to attend an interview by the use of statutory powers has no entitlement to insist that the interview takes place voluntarily. If someone does not attend an interview required under the Act, then he can be dealt with by the court as if he were in contempt (where the penalties can be a fine, imprisonment or both).

EG 4.11.3

1Similarly, a person asked to attend an interview on a purely voluntary basis is not entitled to insist that he be served with a requirement. A person is not obliged to attend a voluntary interview or to answer questions put to them at that time. But they should be aware that in an appropriate case, an adverse inference may be drawn from the failure to attend a voluntary interview, or a refusal to answer any questions at such an interview.

Interviews generally

EG 4.11.4

1Where the FCA interviews a person, it will allow the person to be accompanied by a legal adviser, if they wish. The FCA will also, where appropriate, explain what use can be made of the answers in proceedings against them. Where the interview is tape-recorded, the person will be given a copy of the audio tape of the interview and, where a transcript is made, a copy of the transcript.

Interviews under caution

EG 4.11.5

1 Individuals suspected of a criminal offence may be interviewed under caution. These interviews will be subject to all the safeguards of the relevant Police and Criminal Evidence Act Codes and are voluntary on the part of the suspect. The FCA will warn the suspect at the start of the interview of their right to remain silent (and the consequences of remaining silent) and will inform the suspect that they are entitled to have a legal adviser present. The FCA will also give a cautionary warning in similar terms to interviewees who are the subject of market abuse investigations.

Subsequent interviews

EG 4.11.6

1If a suspect has been interviewed by the FCA using statutory powers, before they are re-interviewed on a voluntary basis (under caution or otherwise), the FCA will explain the difference between the two types of interview. The FCA will also tell the individual about the limited use that can be made of their previous answers in criminal proceedings or in proceedings in which the FCA seeks a penalty for market abuse under Part VIII of the Act.

EG 4.11.7

1Conversely, where a suspect has been interviewed under caution, and the FCA later wishes to conduct a compulsory interview with them, the FCA will explain the difference between the two types of interview, and will notify the individual of the limited use that can be made of his answers in the compulsory interview.

Interviews under arrest

EG 4.11.8

1On occasion, where the police have a power of arrest, the FCA may make a request to the police for assistance to arrest the individual for questioning by the FCA (FCA investigators do not have powers of arrest), for example:

  1. (1)

    where it appears likely that inviting an individual to attend on a voluntary basis would prejudice an ongoing investigation or risk the destruction of evidence or the dissipation of assets; or

  2. (2)

    where a suspect declines an invitation to attend a voluntary interview.

The procedure the FCA may follow on such occasions in seeking assistance from the police is set out in a Memorandum of Understanding with the Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland dated 3 August 2005.

Interviews in response to a request from an overseas regulator or EEA regulator

EG 4.11.9

1Where the FCA has appointed an investigator in response to a request from an overseas regulator or EEA regulator, it may, under sections 169(7) or 131FA of the Act respectively, direct the investigator to allow a representative of that regulator to attend, and take part in, any interview conducted for the purposes of the investigation. However, the FCA may only use this power if it is satisfied that any information obtained by an overseas regulator or EEA regulator as a result of the interview will be subject to safeguards equivalent to those in Part XXIII of the Act (sections 169(8) and 131FA respectively).

EG 4.11.10

1The factors that the FCA may take into account when deciding whether to make a direction under section 169(7) include the following:

  1. (1)

    the complexity of the case;

  2. (2)

    the nature and sensitivity of the information sought;

  3. (3)

    the FCA's own interest in the case;

  4. (4)

    costs, where no Community obligation is involved, and the availability of resources; and

  5. (5)

    the availability of similar assistance to UK authorities in similar circumstances.

EG 4.11.11

1Under sections 169(9) and 131FA respectively, the FCA is required to prepare a statement of policy with the approval of the Treasury on the conduct of interviews attended by representatives of overseas regulators or EEA regulators. The statement is set out in DEPP 7.