The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has powers under the Financial Services and Markets Act to regulate the financial services industry in the UK.
Put simply, the FCA has all the power it needs to:
- Make the rules for financial services
- Investigate any claims that those rules are being broken
- Enforce those rules through the civil or criminal courts if needed
The FCA’s Enforcement & Financial Crime Division is responsible for detecting and investigating anyone who seems to have broken the law or disobeyed their regulations.
Crimes that fall under FCA criminal investigations are very wide reaching. They include:
- Insider dealing
- Misleading statements and practices
- Breach of money laundering regulations
- Conducting a regulated activity without authorisation from the FCA
- Illegal share schemes or 'scams' or 'boiler rooms'
- Unlawful financial promotions
If there is any evidence that any of these offences (or others) have been committed, the FCA will take action through the criminal courts. They will not normally deal with them through internal investigation or give out disciplinary sanctions.
The FCA has wide-reaching powers and can:
- Investigate all your financial dealings
- Force you to attend interviews with them
- Interview you under caution for criminal offences
- Force you to hand over requested information and documents
- Punish you for breaking rules by fining you or taking away their permission for you to continue to offer your financial services
- Take you to the civil courts, or to the criminal courts for certain criminal offences
If you are involved in an FCA criminal investigation or are being taken to court by them, you will be facing a very stressful time. No-one likes to be accused of financial wrong-doing, and an investigation by the FCA can damage your reputation. You might be very worried about how the investigation will affect your business and your ability to trade in the future.
How Irwin Mitchell Can Help With FCA Criminal Investigations
If you are a person approved by the FCA, or if you work for a firm approved by the FCA or even if you are a professional caught up in an FCA criminal investigation, then you need immediate legal advice. Specifically, you need legal advice from solicitors who know what they are dealing with and can offer you the best possible advice and support during this difficult time.
Here at Irwin Mitchell we have a team of dedicated, specialist solicitors who know all there is to know about FCA criminal investigations and who have helped countless clients through this complex area of law.
We will give you immediate, comprehensive advice and all the support you could need throughout your case. We are considered to be the leading law firm for defending clients against FCA criminal investigations and work closely with financial services forensic experts and other financial specialists to help represent the best interests of our clients.
We are always aware of the fact that the FCA has not been an official private prosecutor for very long, and that it is important to challenge their actions if we think that they are unlawful or unfair. Our knowledge of this area of law means that we can fearlessly challenge any decisions, if necessary through judicial review or the appeal courts.
Funding Your Case
We usually act on a privately paying basis but sometimes through insurance policies and legal aid. We will advise you about whether the latter options are available to you.
The cost will depend how long the investigation lasts and what the exact details of the case are. We will usually need to spend time looking through all of the paperwork before we can give you firm advice.
We will always discuss with you what we think the final cost might be and will tell you if the cost is likely to be more or less than expected as we proceed. We always aim to keep your costs as low as possible, ensuring we give you value for money.
Call Today For A No-Obligation Discussion
If you are being investigated, interviewed under caution or charged by the FCA or you believe that any of these is likely to happen then please contact our team as soon as possible. For an initial discussion with no obligation and no fee, please call Sarah Wallace on 020 7421 3876 or Paul Haycock on 0114 274 4275 - or send us an online enquiry.