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SUP 2.2 Information gathering by the appropriate regulator on its own initiative: background

Link to the statutory information gathering and investigation powers

SUP 2.2.1G

Breaching Principle 11, or the rules in this chapter, makes a firm liable to regulatory sanctions, including discipline under Part XIV of the Act (Disciplinary Measures), and may be relevant to the use of the appropriate regulator's other powers, including the statutory information gathering and investigation powers (see further PRIN 1.1.7 G to PRIN 1.1.9 G). But, unlike a breach of a requirement imposed under the statutory powers listed in SUP 2.1.5 G, a breach of Principle 11 or a rule:

  1. (1)

    is not a criminal offence; and

  2. (2)

    cannot lead to a person being treated as if in contempt of court (see section 177 of the Act (Offences).

SUP 2.2.2G

Neither Principle 11 nor SUP 2.3.5 R (1) (Access to premises) enable the appropriate regulator to force access to premises.

Banking confidentiality and legal privilege

SUP 2.2.3G

The FCA1 would not normally seek to gather information using the methods described in SUP 2.3 or SUP 2.4 in a situation where the FCA1 could not have obtained it under the powers in Part XI of the Act (Information Gathering and Investigations). In particular, the limitations in the following sections of the Act are relevant to this chapter:

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  1. (1)

    section 175(5) (Information and documents: supplementary powers) under which no person may be required under Part XI of the Act (Information Gathering and Investigations) to disclose information or produce a document subject to banking confidentiality (with exceptions); the FCA1 would not normally seek such information using the methods described in SUP 2.3 or SUP 2.4; and

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  2. (2)

    section 413 (Protected items), under which no person may be required under the Act to produce, disclose or permit the inspection of protected items; a firm would not breach Principle 11 or the rules in this chapter by not producing such items.

Confidentiality of information

SUP 2.2.4G

When the FCA1 obtains confidential information using the methods of information gathering described in SUP 2.3 or SUP 2.4, it is obliged under Part XXIII of the Act (Public Record, Disclosure of Information and Co-operation) to treat that information as confidential. The FCA1 will not disclose confidential information without lawful authority, for example if an exception applies under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Disclosure of Confidential Information) Regulations 2001 (SI 2001/2188) or with the consent of the person from whom that information was received and (if different) to whom the information relates.

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Admissibility of information in proceedings

SUP 2.2.5G

Information obtained by the FCA1 using the methods described in SUP 2.3 and SUP 2.4 is admissible in evidence in any proceedings, so long as it complies with any requirements governing the admissibility of evidence in the circumstances in question.

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