Our 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.
Find out about our approach to supervising firms.
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.
Our Enforcement division works closely with the FINMSA’s 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 to take action against firms and individuals that do not meet our standards.
We can take action such as:
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 FINMSA authorised
issuing warnings and alerts about unauthorised firms and individuals and requesting that web hosts deactivate associated websites
There is more about how we operate in the Decision procedure and penalties manual (DEPP) and Enforcement guide, including 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 enforcement notices to inform the public, maximise the deterrent effect of enforcement action and ensure our decisions are transparent.
We also 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.
We also publish supervisory notices, requirement notices, cancellation notices and other publications.
Notices are part of our publication scheme under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
You can find FSA notices on the National Archives website.
Under the Financial Services Act 2012 we must pay the Exchequer all financial penalties received, apart from certain enforcement costs incurred in generating these penalties in the same year. We use these retained penalties to reduce our fees, apart from the fees levied on the penalty payer itself.
We will often publish a press release accompanying an enforcement outcome, including in criminal cases.