1The FCA will not normally make public the fact that it is or is not investigating a particular matter, or any of the findings or conclusions of an investigation except as described in other sections of this chapter. The following paragraphs deal with the exceptional circumstances in which the FCA may make a public announcement that it is or is not investigating a particular matter.
1Where the matter in question has occurred in the context of a takeover bid, and the following circumstances apply, the FCA may make a public announcement that it is not investigating, and does not propose to investigate, the matter. Those circumstances are where the FCA:
has not appointed, and does not propose to appoint, investigators; and
considers (following discussion with the Takeover Panel) that such an announcement is appropriate in the interests of preventing or eliminating public uncertainty, speculation or rumour.
maintain public confidence in the financial system or the market; or
protect consumers or investors; or
prevent widespread malpractice; or
help the investigation itself, for example by bringing forward witnesses; or
maintain the smooth operation of the market.
In deciding whether to make an announcement, the FCA will consider the potential prejudice that it believes may be caused to any persons who are, or who are likely to be, a subject of the investigation.
1The exceptional circumstances referred to above may arise where the matters under investigation have become the subject of public concern, speculation or rumour. In this case it may be desirable for the FCA to make public the fact of its investigation in order to allay concern, or contain the speculation or rumour. Where the matter in question relates to a takeover bid, the FCA will discuss any announcement beforehand with the Takeover Panel. Any announcement will be subject to the restriction on disclosure of confidential information in section 348 of the Act.
1The FCA will not normally publish details of the information found or conclusions reached during its investigations. In many cases, statutory restrictions on the disclosure of information obtained by the FCA in the course of exercising its functions are likely to prevent publication (see section 348 of the Act). In exceptional circumstances, and where it is not prevented from doing so, the FCA may publish details. Circumstances in which it may do so include those where the fact that the FCA is investigating has been made public, by the FCA or otherwise, and the FCA subsequently concludes that the concerns that prompted the investigation were unwarranted. This is particularly so if the firm under investigation wishes the FCA to clarify the matter.