Find out more about our enforcement powers, including how we protect consumers and act against firms and individuals that don’t meet our standards.
The Enforcement division supports our objectives by making it clear there are real and meaningful consequences for firms and individuals who don’t follow the rules.
The action we take is wide-ranging – not just court action. It can occur at any stage of an individual’s or firm’s regulatory journey and also where they are unauthorised. Credible deterrence is central to our enforcement work.
The Enforcement division works closely with our Authorisation, Supervision, and Strategy and Competition divisions, as well as other regulators and law enforcement. This means we can identify and act early when enforcement action is necessary.
Our enforcement powers
We use a wide range of enforcement powers – criminal, civil and regulatory – to protect consumers and act against firms and individuals that don’t meet our standards.
This could include:
- withdrawing a firm's authorisation
- prohibiting individuals from carrying on regulated activities
- suspending firms and individuals from undertaking regulated activities
- issuing fines against firms and individuals who breach our rules or commit market abuse
- issuing fines against firms breaching competition laws
- making a public announcement when we begin disciplinary action and publishing details of warning, decision and final notices
- applying to the courts for injunctions, restitution orders, winding-up and other insolvency orders
- bringing criminal prosecutions to tackle financial crime, such as insider dealing, unauthorised business and false claims to be FCA authorised
- issuing warnings and alerts about unauthorised firms and individuals and requesting that web hosts deactivate associated websites
You can find out more about how we operate in the Decision Procedure and Penalties Manual (DEPP) and Enforcement Guide. This includes information on our approach to decision making and use of our regulatory, civil and criminal powers.
Our Enforcement information guide gives an overview of our enforcement powers, our typical procedure for disciplinary cases, and information on mediation and settlement.
We publish statutory notices to inform the public, maximise the deterrent effect of enforcement action and make sure our decisions are transparent.
We publish certain information about enforcement action once a statutory notice is issued.
- Warning notices are issued when we propose to take action. We may publish details about these online.
- Decision notices are issued when we decide to take action.
- Final notices are issued when we take action.
Under the Financial Services Act 2012 we must pay the Exchequer all financial penalties received. This excludes permitted deductions equivalent to certain enforcement costs we incurred in the financial year we received those penalties.
We use these retained deductions to reduce our fees, apart from the fees levied on the penalty payer itself.