1The FCA considers that in general, the earlier settlement discussions can take place the better this is likely to be from a public interest perspective. However, the FCA will only engage in such discussions once it has a sufficient understanding of the nature and gravity of the suspected misconduct or issue to make a reasonable assessment of the appropriate outcome. At the other end of the spectrum, the FCA expects that settlement discussions following a decision notice or second supervisory notice will be rare.
1In the interests of efficiency and effectiveness, the FCA will set clear and challenging timetables for settlement discussions to ensure that they result in a prompt outcome and do not divert resources unnecessarily from progressing a case through the formal process. To this end, the FCA will aim to organise its resources so that the preparation for the formal process continues in parallel with any settlement discussions. The FCA will expect firms and others to give it all reasonable assistance in this regard.