Our compliance strategy emphasises a 'top of the cliff' approach and focuses on lifting the standards of the businesses and professionals we regulate.
Our monitoring and surveillance work is outcome focused, so we consider whether compliance is achieved and the desired outcomes for customers are delivered.
This means our activities often start by asking senior management "How do you know your organisation is compliant and adopting appropriate behaviours?"
We expect senior management to champion a culture of 'doing the right thing'. This includes putting in place appropriate monitoring activities such as independent compliance checks or internal audits, information systems tracking key compliance controls, and dealing with any breaches and associated remedial actions as they arise. Senior management should challenge all levels of management on results when necessary.
We take a risk-based approach to our monitoring and surveillance activities, meaning we prioritise resources to those participants or practices that present the greatest risk to fair, efficient and transparent financial markets.
In considering risk, we use our market intelligence and research to identify potential problems, assess the likelihood that poor practice or non-compliance will occur, and consider its impact on the market. For example, we take into account the numbers and types of retail customers at risk, the size of their potential losses, and the proportion of the market affected.
We seek to proactively monitor a range of market participants and business models. In this way, we can identify new risks and any compliance themes or areas of poor practice across the market. This work helps us identify any need for guidance and ensure our expectations are practical.
Where our monitoring or enquiries identify non-compliance, we have a range of tools available to deliver a timely, effective and proportionate response. We may undertake a further inquiry or expect the participant to adjust its compliance, and we may follow up to ensure that this is done. In some cases, notices, warnings, directions or enforceable undertakings may be appropriate. Further or serious non-compliance might result in stronger action, such as suspension or removal of licences or other enforcement action.
We are committed to an open and educative approach so all financial markets participants have clear and well-understood responsibilities. We publish summaries of the aggregate findings from our monitoring and surveillance to assist participants in understanding our expectations and enable them to check their compliance and raise standards if necessary.
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