The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is to introduce a process for partly contested cases, where a person under investigation wishes to agree to certain elements of a case, and contest others.

The move was part of a raft of announcements made by the FCA alongside the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), aimed at strengthening the transparency and effectiveness of their enforcement decision-making processes.

Those who go through a partly contested process will be able to agree to elements including penalty, facts, liability or a combination of these, and contest the other elements before the Regulatory Decisions Committee. They will still have the ability to obtain a discount on the penalty that will reflect the extent that issues have been agreed.

As well as this, the FCA said it will provide a mechanism for those under investigation to proceed more directly and quickly to the Upper Tribunal, providing external adjudication that is wholly independent of the FCA. 

The FCA is also abolishing penalty discounts at Stage 2 and 3 of settlement, and retaining the same panel that gave the warning notice to hear representations and decide whether to give a decision notice.

The responses were made in response to the consultation paper 16/10: : Proposed Implementation of the Enforcement Review and the Green Report

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Mark Steward, director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: “It is essential that our enforcement decision-making processes command public confidence and operate both efficiently and fairly. The changes set out in today’s PS are designed to achieve just that and reflect the views of stakeholders who responded to our consultation.”