Mark Steward has spoken on the increase in FCA investigations into market conduct over the past year. He said the 75% increase results from:
- more investigations into capital market disclosure issues
- the extension of scope of the reporting regime which MAR has brought – including a 77% increase in reports because of the MAR requirements both widening the scope of instruments and platforms covered by the STR requirement and the need now to report suspicious orders as well as transactions and
- FCA’s change in approach when deciding whether to open an investigation
He noted that MiFID 2 will bring the ability for FCA to collect yet more information but said it would act proportionately when deciding whether to take enforcement action against MiFID 2 firms that have not transitioned by 3 January 2018. He said FCA is aware of the amount of work firms have needed to do and will not take enforcement action against firms who have, in FCA’s view, taken sufficient steps to meet their new obligations but have failed to do so by the January deadline. But it will take a different view of firms who have not made a “real or genuine” attempt to be ready or have “deliberately flouted” key obligations.