On 1 June 2023, the FCA published a speech given by Therese Chambers entitled “Do the right thing”, her first as Co-Executive Director of Enforcement.
Ms Chambers took up the Co-Executive Director role in April of this year, although she has been at the FCA and its predecessor, the FSA, for the best part of two decades. Steve Smart, the other Co-Executive Director of Enforcement, will join the FCA on 21 June and the two will set out their vision further once he is in position. Mr Smart joins the FCA from the National Crime Agency where he is director of intelligence.
In her speech, Ms Chambers states that going forward we can expect to see a strong alignment between the FCA’s enforcement work and the FCA strategy and her comments in the speech include the following:
- The FCA is investing in their data and technology in order to improve early detection, making it even more difficult for firms to hide. As such, it is always better for firms to come forward first if they do have any concerns about activities or individuals.
- The FCA has formed a new Financial Promotion Enforcement Taskforce to stop harmful products and services from being advertised. They have secured cooperation from the big tech firms on this and will continue to intervene even more assertively where they see breaches on financial promotions.
- The FCA’s priority is to see the maximum possible penalty imposed on the firms and individuals that cause the greatest harm. But it is also essential that the FCA secures the maximum redress for consumers that have been harmed.
- The FCA will not tolerate authorised firms being used to defraud consumers. Through recent action it has demonstrated that it is prepared to take assertive action for the benefit of consumers in such circumstances.
- Finally, the way in which a firm responds to an issue is an opportunity to do the right thing. The FCA appreciates and rewards “transparency and cooperation” and indeed rewards firms who do the right thing. Doing the right things is at the very heart of the FCA’s Consumer Duty, which comes into force at the end of July.