Find out more about our enforcement powers, including how we protect consumers and act against firms and individuals that don’t meet our standards.

It is important that firms and individuals are held to account when they have caused significant harm to consumers or markets. It is also important to deter wider misconduct, not just to penalise instances of misconduct. We consider the deterrent impact of any enforcement action we take and focus our efforts on achieving impactful deterrence aligned to the FCA’s strategic priorities with particular focus on: putting consumers’ needs first, delivering assertive action on market abuse and reducing and preventing financial crime.  

We use a wide range of enforcement powers – criminal, civil and regulatory – to protect consumers and act against firms and individuals that don’t meet our standards. These powers include imposing financial penalties, prohibiting individuals from carrying out regulated activities, public censure and prosecution.   

You can find out more about how we operate in the Decision Procedure and Penalties Manual (DEPP) and Enforcement Guide.  

Our Enforcement information guide gives an overview of our enforcement powers, our typical process for enforcement cases, and information on mediation and settlement.

We are currently consulting on our proposed new approach to publicising enforcement investigations and simplifying the Enforcement Guide. The Consultation is open until 30 April 2024 and we welcome feedback.

Publications & Notices

Openness about our work helps the firms we regulate see and understand the type of serious failings that can lead to enforcement action. Transparency also informs the public and drives our accountability.

Various notices connected to our work can be found on the FCA website:  

  • Warning notices are issued when we propose taking action, a warning notice is not the final decision of the FCA. The subject has the right to make representations to the Regulatory Decisions Committee (RDC) which, in the light of those representations, will decide on the appropriate action and whether to issue a decision notice. We may publish some of the details of the warning notice in a statement on our website.   
  • Decision notices are issued and published when we decide to take action. 
  • Final notices are issued when we take action. 

The FCA website also contains supervisory noticesrequirement noticescancellation notices and other publications. 

Notices are part of our publication scheme under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Financial penalties

We also set out the details of the financial penalties we impose for each calendar year.

Financial Penalty Scheme

Under the Financial Services Act 2012, we must pay the financial penalties we receive from firms and individuals to the Treasury, except to the extent they equal certain of our enforcement costs (retained penalties).

Our Financial Penalty Scheme sets out how we use retained penalties for the benefit of other firms.

Find out how the scheme works

Press releases

When appropriate we issue press releases about our work or the misconduct we see. See the latest FCA press releases.

You can find FSA press releases on the National Archives website.

Page updates

: Information added Financial Penalty Scheme added under 'financial penalties'
: Information changed Extending consultation deadline to 30 April 2024
: Information added
: Editorial amendment Update to page introduction.
: Editorial amendment General page updates.
: Information added 2020 and 2021 fines tables