The purpose of this chapter is to describe some of the factors which may be relevant to the FSA when it determines whether to issue a public censure or public statement. Public censures and public statements are among a variety of tools the FSA may use to help it achieve its regulatory objectives. Where the FSA considers that formal disciplinary action is appropriate, public censures and public statements may, in some cases, be an alternative to financial penalties.
The FSA regards the decision to issue a public censure or public statement as a serious sanction. The FSA is aware of the effect such a statement may have on the reputation or business of a firm or approved person. However, where it is not appropriate to impose a financial penalty, the FSA considers that a public censure or public statement may have particular value in enabling the FSA to pursue its regulatory objectives by highlighting the requirements and standards of conduct expected of firms and approved persons, and demonstrating that those standards are being effectively enforced, so helping to maintain confidence in the financial system. In addition, public censures and public statements promote public awareness of the standards of behaviour expected of firms and approved persons. Increased public awareness also contributes towards greater consumer protection.