The FCA has published Guidance Consultation 16/1: FCA Guidance on voluntary redress schemes under the Competition Act 1998 (GC16/1).
On 1 April 2015, the FCA obtained concurrent competition powers. This means that it has powers to enforce the prohibitions on anti-competitive behaviour in the Competition Act 1998 (CA98) and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) in relation to the provision of financial services. On 1 October 2015, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 introduced various amendments to the CA98. These include, in section 49C CA98, a power to approve a redress scheme in relation to an infringement of the prohibitions on anti-competitive behaviour in CA98/TFEU. Once approved, a scheme becomes binding on the firm offering redress.
Section 49C(9) CA98 places a duty on the FCA to publish guidance with regard to:
- applications for approval of redress schemes;
- the approval of redress schemes; and
- the enforcement of approved schemes, and in particular as to the criteria it intends to adopt in deciding whether to bring proceedings under section 49E(4) CA98 in relation to the enforcement of approved redress schemes.
GC16/1 sets out draft guidance that will be issued, once finalised, pursuant to section 49C(9) CA98.
The deadline for comments on GC16/1 is 15 February 2016.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has also issued guidance under section 49C(9) CA98 (CMA Redress Scheme Guidance). The CMA Redress Scheme Guidance will apply to applications for approval received by the CMA. Where stated in GC16/1, the FCA will take the CMA Redress Scheme Guidance into account when it receives applications for approval that relate to the provision of financial services.
View GC16/1: Proposed guidance on voluntary redress schemes under the Competition Act 1998, 19 January 2016