Mr Symington warned the senior managers of authorised firms that they may be subject to additional scrutiny,
“We need an approach to investigation that will meet the challenges of supporting the embedding of the culture”.
“This means that generally where there are grounds for investigating a matter, there will be a need to investigate the role of senior management in the conduct issues that arise.”
FCA want to conduct more investigations into private individuals and directors. Mr Symington quoted from the Green report into the collapse of HBOS.
Andrew Green QC had some tough things to say about when the FCA should commence an investigation. Green suggested that the regulators had previously only commenced investigations where they already believed they had a reasonable chance of being able to take enforcement action, when instead they should be using the results of their investigation to discover if enforcement action was necessary.
Put another way – in the past the FCA took firms into enforcement and prosecution was just about the only way out of it.
In the future, the enforcers will actually judge and consider as well.
“As set out in our recent business plan, our foremost cross-sector priority is to improve culture and governance in firms.”
Mr Symington concluded by stressing that the FCA remained impartial in all of its investigations.
Some find these words a little unconvincing, and are reminded that the Barclays four face extended breaks inside, while Goodwin and Crosby pick up their pensions.