Policy in practice: FCA's naming and shaming proposals

18 June 2024

With the announcement of the General Election, in this episode of policy in practice, David Gauke, Alexandra Green and Laura Bridgewater discuss the FCA's proposals to disclose the identity of the subjects of FCA enforcement investigations where the FCA assess that it is in the ‘public interest’ to do so.

They cover:

  • the FCA's proposals and how these have developed since the initial consultation paper;
  • the finance sector's reaction to the proposals; and
  • political considerations and the potential impact of the upcoming General Election.

If you would like more information or want to discuss any of the topics in this podcast, please get in touch with David, Alexandra and Laura.

Episode summary

In our latest policy in practice podcast, David Gauke head public policy at Macfarlanes, is joined by Laura Bridgewater, partner in the litigation team, and Alex Green, partner in the finance team, to discuss the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) proposals to disclose the identity of companies under investigation earlier in the process. 

The discussion begins with an overview of the sector reaction. The financial services sector has expressed strong opposition to these proposals, primarily due to concerns about the potential for significant reputational damage and the perceived lack of consideration for the impact on the firms involved. The proposals have also attracted political attention, including comment from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt. This level of political involvement is unusual for FCA proposals and indicates the extent of the push back. 

The conversation then moves focus to political involvement. It can be viewed that the political scrutiny, combined with opposition from various governmental committees has led to the FCA reconsidering its stance. The industry is largely united against the proposals, fearing they could harm competitiveness and are not in line with practices of regulators in other jurisdictions. While initially firm, the FCA now seems to be reconsidering the specifics of the proposal, especially how and when such disclosures would be made and their impact on firms.

On a final note, they discuss what this means for businesses. The outcome may be influenced by the upcoming General Election, but regardless of the election results, there is a push for a more detailed consultation process. Additionally, the FCA's broader regulatory approach is shifting towards more targeted, intrusive, and assertive supervision, emphasising the need for firms to be diligent about enforcement risks and compliance

If you would like a full written transcript of this podcast, please get in touch.

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