The FCA is to focus on a streamlined portfolio of cases, aligned to its strategic priorities where it can deliver the greatest impact. The FCA will also close those cases where no outcome is achievable, more quickly.

It has begun a consultation on plans to be more transparent when an enforcement investigation is opened. The FCA will publish updates on investigations and be open about when cases have been closed with no enforcement outcome.

The moves are a step change from the current process where investigations are only announced in very limited circumstances.

Therese Chambers, joint Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA said: “By being more transparent when we open and close cases we can enhance public confidence by showing that we are on the case.

“At the same time, we will amplify the deterrent impact of our work by enabling firms to understand the types of serious failings that can lead to an investigation. This will help them to change their own behaviour more quickly. Greater transparency will also drive greater accountability for us as an enforcement agency.’

Steve Smart, joint Executive Director Enforcement, Market Oversight added: “Reducing and preventing serious harm is a cornerstone of our strategy. By delivering faster, targeted and transparent enforcement, we will reduce harm and deter others. We will also make greater use of our intervention powers to stop harm in real time.”

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Naming and shaming: a warning shot from the FCA

Adam Zoucha, MD, EMEA at FloQast, said: “Naming and shaming firms under investigation is a warning shot from the regulator.  The move will prompt greater accountability and shows an increased appetite for greater compliance and oversight. Something which is quite typical during economic downturns. However, businesses are already struggling with a complex and ever-evolving regulatory environment. And this latest move will only put compliance teams under more pressure.

“To stay on the right side of the regulator, businesses will need to re-examine compliance processes. Rather than relying on disconnected solutions a shift towards a more robust, data-driven and collaborative approach will empower organisations to respond to changing demands and avoid a public fall-out.”