Related provisions for REC 6.6.6
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1A firm’s report – produced internally or by an external third party – can clearly assist the firm, but may also be useful to the FCA where there is an issue of regulatory concern. Sharing the outcome of an investigation can potentially save time and resources for both parties, particularly where there is a possibility of the FCA taking enforcement action in relation to a firm’s perceived misconduct or failing. This does not mean that firms are under any obligation to share the
1Work done or commissioned by the firm does not fetter the FCA's ability to use its statutory powers, for example to require a skilled person’s report under section 166 of the Act or to carry out a formal enforcement investigation; nor can a report commissioned by the firm be a substitute for formal regulatory action where this is needed or appropriate. But even if formal action is needed, it may be that a report could be used to help the FCA decide on the appropriate action to
1The FCA invites firms to consider, in particular, whether to discuss the commissioning and scope of a report with FCA staff where: (1) firms have informed the FCA of an issue of potential regulatory concern, as required by SUP 15; or (2) the FCA has indicated that an issue or concern has or may result in a referral to Enforcement.
1The FCA's approach in commenting on the proposed scope and purpose of the report will vary according to the circumstances in which the report is commissioned; it does not follow that the FCA will want to be involved in discussing the scope of a report in every situation. But if the firm anticipates that it will proactively disclose a report to the FCA in the context of an ongoing or prospective enforcement investigation, then the potential use and benefit to be derived from the
1In certain circumstances the FCA may prefer that a firm does not commission its own investigation (whether an internal audit report or a report by external advisers) because action by the firm could itself be damaging to an FCA investigation. This is true in particular of criminal investigations, where alerting the suspects could have adverse consequences. For example, where the FCA suspects that individuals are abusing positions of trust within financial institutions and that
1How the results of an investigation are presented to the FCA may differ from case to case; the FCA acknowledges that different circumstances may call for different approaches. In this sense, one size does not fit all. The FCA will take a pragmatic and flexible approach when deciding how to receive the results of an investigation. However, if the FCA is to rely on a report as the basis for taking action, or not taking action, then it is important that the firm should be prepared
1The FCA is not able to require the production of “protected items”, as defined in the Act, but it is not uncommon for there to be disagreement with firms about the scope of this protection. Arguments about whether certain documents attract privilege tend to be time- consuming and delay the progress of an investigation. If a firm decides to give a report to the FCA, then the FCA considers that the greatest mutual benefit is most likely to flow from disclosure of the report itself
1For reasons that the FCA can understand, firms may seek to restrict the use to which a report can be put, or assert that any legal privilege is waived only on a limited basis and that the firm retains its right to assert legal privilege as the basis for non-disclosure in civil proceedings against a private litigant.
1The FCA understands that the concept of a limited waiver of legal privilege is not one which is recognised in all jurisdictions; the FCA considers that English law does permit such “limited waiver” and that legal privilege could still be asserted against third parties notwithstanding disclosure of a report to the FCA. However, the FCA cannot accept any condition or stipulation which would purport to restrict its ability to use the information in the exercise of the FCA's statutory
1This does not mean that information provided to the FCA is unprotected. The FCA is subject to strict statutory restrictions on the disclosure of confidential information (as defined in section 348 of the Act), breach of which is a criminal offence (under section 352 of the Act). Reports and underlying materials provided voluntarily to the FCA by a firm, whether covered by legal privilege or not, are confidential for these purposes and benefit from the statutory protections.
1Even in circumstances where disclosure of information would be permitted under the “gateways” set out in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Disclosure of Confidential Information) Regulations, the FCA will consider carefully whether it would be appropriate to disclose a report provided voluntarily by a firm. The FCA appreciates that firms feel strongly about the importance of maintaining confidentiality, and that firms are more likely to volunteer information to the
The FCA1 will give written notification to the person in SUP 5.2.1 G or SUP 5.2.2 G2 of the purpose of the report or collection or updating of information,2 its scope, the timetable for completion and any other relevant matters. The FCA1 will state the matters which the report is to contain, or the information which is to be collected or updated,2 as well as any requirements as to the report's format. For example, a report on controls may be required to address key risks, key
A skilled person must appear to the FCA1 to have the skills necessary to make a report on the matter concerned or collect or update the relevant information.2 A skilled person may be an accountant, lawyer, compliance consultant,2actuary or person with relevant business, technical or technological skills.22
When considering whether to nominate, approve or appoint a skilled person to make a report or collect or update information, the FCA1 will have regard to the circumstances of the case, including whether the proposed skilled person appears to have:22(1) the skills necessary to make a report on the matter concerned or collect or update the relevant information;2(2) the ability to complete the report or collect or update the information within the time expected by the FCA1; 22(3)
In appropriate circumstances, it may be cost effective for the FCA1 to nominate or approve the appointment of, or appoint itself,2 a skilled person who has previously acted for, or advised, the person in SUP 5.2.1 G or SUP 5.2.2 G.2 For example, the FCA1 may nominate or approve the appointment of, or appoint,2 the auditor of a person in SUP 5.2.1 G or SUP 5.2.2 G2 to prepare a report or collect or update the information2 taking into account, where relevant, the considerations
Where the skilled person is appointed by the person in SUP 5.2.1 G or SUP 5.2.2 G, the FCA1 will normally require the skilled person to be appointed to report to the FCA1 through that person. In the normal course of events the FCA1 expects that the person in SUP 5.2.1 G or SUP 5.2.2 G2 will be given the opportunity to provide written comments on the report or the collection of the relevant information prior to its submission to the FCA1. 222222222
The FCA1 may enter into a dialogue with the skilled person, and is ready to discuss matters relevant to the report or the collection or updating of the relevant information2 with that person1, during the preparation of the report or the collection or updating of the relevant information.2 Such discussions may2 involve or be through the person in SUP 5.2.1 G or SUP 5.2.2 G.2222
The FCA1 will normally specify a time limit within which it expects the skilled person to deliver the report or collect or update the relevant information. Where the skilled person is appointed by the person in SUP 5.2.1 G or SUP 5.2.2 G, the2skilled person should, in complying with its contractual duty under SUP 5.5.1 R, take reasonable steps to achieve delivery by that time. If the skilled person becomes aware that the report may not be delivered, or collection or updating
Where an ROIE1 includes in its report made under section 295(1) of the Act (Notification: overseas investment exchanges and overseas clearing houses) a statement in compliance with section 295(2)(a) of the Act that an event has occurred in the period covered by that report which is likely to affect the FCA's1 assessment of whether it is satisfied as to the requirements set out in section 292(3) (Overseas investment exchanges and overseas clearing houses), it must include particulars
An ROIE1 must include in the first report submitted under section 295(1) of the Act after the recognition order in relation to that ROIE1 is made: 11(1) particulars of any events of the kind described in section 295(2) of the Act which occurred; (2) particulars of any change specified in REC 6.7.4 R (1) or disciplinary action specified in REC 6.7.4 R (2) which occurred; and(3) any annual report and accounts which covered a period ending; after the application for recognition
An ROIE1 is required to notify the FCA1 of certain events and give information to it on a regular basis and when certain specified events occur. Section 295 of the Act (Notification: overseas investment exchanges and overseas clearing houses) requires each ROIE1 to provide the FCA1 with a report (at least once a year) which contains:111(1) a statement as to whether any events have occurred which are likely to affect the FCA's assessment of whether it is satisfied that the ROIE
(1) 2The issuer must file the report on payments to governments with the FCA.(2) The report in (1) must be filed by uploading it to the system identified by the FCA on its website as the national storage mechanism for regulatory announcements and certain documents published by issuers.(3) A report filed under (2) must be in XML (extensible markup language) format and must use the XML data schema developed for the purposes of facilitating software filing to be used for the purpose
The FCA5 will have regard to legal and procedural considerations including:66(1) statutory powers: whether one of the other available statutory powers is more appropriate for the purpose than the power in section 166 (Reports by skilled persons) or section 166A (Appointment of skilled person to collect and update information) of the Act;66(2) subsequent proceedings: whether it is desirable to obtain an authoritative and independent report for use in any subsequent proceedings;
The FCA5 will have regard to FCA5-related considerations including:6666(1) FCA5 expertise: whether the FCA5 has the necessary expertise; and6666(2) FCA5 resources: whether the resources required to produce a report or to make enquiries or to appoint a skilled person itself6 are available within the FCA5, or whether the exercise will be the best use of the FCA's5 resources at the time.666666
In complying with the contractual duty in SUP 5.5.1 R (1) the FCA3 expects that a skilled person appointed by a firm4 under section 166 (Reports by skilled persons) or section 166A (Appointment of skilled person to collect and update information) of the Act4 will cooperate with the FCA3 by, amongst other things, providing information or documentation about the planning and progress of the report and its findings and conclusions, if requested to do so. A firm should therefore
The FCA will deal with cases more quickly than this whenever circumstances allow and will try to meet the standard response times published on the website and in its Annual Report. However, the processing time will be longer than the published standard response times if:(1) an application is incomplete when received; or(2) the FCA has knowledge that, or reason to believe that, the information is incomplete.