What powers does the FCA have in the UK?
One of the most significant powers of the FCA is the ability to impose fines on individuals and businesses who are in breach of regulations. For example, in 2019 the FCA handed out £392,303,087 worth of fines.
Of this number, £45,500,000 was a fine issued to the Bank of Scotland for failing to be open and cooperative in the retail banking sector, and £23,875,000 was to the Prudential Assurance Company, for unfair treatment of customers in the pensions sector.
The FCA often makes public statements about any fines or penalties it imposes and the reasons for these fines, so that the public is aware of any possible illegal or negligent activity by individual firms or companies. These statements can serve as a possible deterrent for other firms.
The FCA can also investigate and, in some cases, bring forward criminal prosecution against individuals or firms that are found to be in breach of financial regulations. Examples of a breach could be insider trading, misleading customers, unfair treatment of customers, or failing to be open and cooperative in the retail banking sector.