The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) doubled the number of times it intervened to force firms to change their practices in 2014.
The FCA made 31 ‘early interventions’ – which are done without a lengthy official investigation – in 2014 compared to the 14 it made in 2013 according to the Financial Times.
The FCA can force firms to change their business models, products and marketing and if firms do not comply, they could risk losing their regulatory license.
Out of the 31 early interventions, 12 related to financial crime issues including money-laundering. The FCA normally keeps its intervention work private, however in January 2014 price comparison website Moneysupermarket.com agreed to stop advertisements that the regulator felt was misleading.
David Scott, partner at law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer told the FT the FCA’s early intervention power was probably the most significant addition to its armoury.
‘It was provided on the explicit basis that the FCA would be a more intrusive and judgment-led regulator,’ he said.
Article appeared in the New Model adviser on 5th January 2015