On 1 December 2023, the FCA published a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that it has entered into with the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI). The MoU, which is dated 21 November 2023, replaces a previous MoU entered into between OFSI and the FCA dated April 2019. It sets out the arrangements for cooperation and the exchange of relevant information between OFSI (as part of HM Treasury) and the FCA in carrying out their respective functions.

The MoU notes that the FCA’s functions and OFSI’s sanctions functions may interact. The FCA obtains information and intelligence from its supervisory and other activities which may be relevant to the work of OFSI, and OFSI obtains information and intelligence from performing its functions which may be relevant to the work of the FCA.

Information that may be shared under the MoU includes:

  • Information relating to suspected or actual sanctions breaches identified by OFSI, which suggest weaknesses in the FCA-supervised firm’s systems and controls.
  • Information on suspected or actual sanctions breaches identified by the FCA that fall within OFSI’s competencies, which the FCA has reasons to believe that OFSI may not be aware of.
  • Information on suspected or actual breaches of financial sanctions or relevant maritime services sanctions identified by the FCA or OFSI, where there is reason to believe that joint investigations would benefit enforcement of those sanctions.
  • Any information the FCA discloses to OFSI under relevant legislation, including the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017.
  • Personal data, which may include information relating to individuals who have been involved in a suspected or actual breach of sanctions that fall within OFSI’s competencies.
  • Asset freeze notifications submitted to OFSI and designated persons reports submitted to OFSI, in each case which relate to or were submitted by an FCA-supervised firm.
  • Any information that could be used for intelligence purposes.

The MoU provides that the FCA and OFSI will share information with each other on a regular basis, although they may also request information on an ad hoc basis.