Financial Conduct Authority  

FCA sees 70% jump in lifetime bans

FCA sees 70% jump in lifetime bans

The Financial Conduct Authority banned 70 per cent more people from operating in the industry last year than in the year before, according to correspondence from the economic secretary to the Treasury. 

In a letter to Frank Field dated April 29, John Glen said the regulator had issued prohibition orders to 24 people in 2018 compared with 14 individuals in 2017. 

A prohibition order issued by the FCA prevents a person from operating in the regulated financial services industry, otherwise known as a lifetime ban. 

Looking at the financial year the regulator issued lifetime bans to 20 people in the 2018/19 financial year and 19 people in 2017/18. 

Mr Glen said: "Regardless of which numbers are used, the point remains the same: the FCA has strong powers to tackle bad practice, and that the regulator utilises these powers to protect consumers."

In issuing prohibition orders the regulator is not seeking to "punish" an individual for misconduct, Mr Glen said, but rather take "proactive action" to prevent future harm. 

He added: "The FCA can take this type of action where they decide, for example, an individual lacks honesty and integrity, or competence and capability."

The comments were made in a letter to the Work and Pensions select committee earlier this week, which was a follow-up to a Parliamentary committee hearing in April

In addressing the role of financial advice in the pensions sector Mr Glen also hailed the Senior Managers and Certification Regime, due to be implemented in the advice sector in December this year, as a means to "significantly strengthen" the regulator's powers to tackle "unsuitable or negligent" advice.

The requirements under SMCR are already in place for banks, but once extended to the wider financial services industry later this year will require bosses performing key roles to gain FCA approval before starting work, and receive a 'statement of responsibilities' that clearly says what they are responsible and accountable for.