Global M&A trends and risks
Powerful new forces shaping in the M&A landscape
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United Kingdom | Publication | March 2023
The FCA and PRA are empowered under the Competition Act 1998 and the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 to carry out unannounced visits, commonly referred to as “dawn raids”, provided that certain legal criteria are met. These powers enable the regulators to enter and search a firm’s premises, conduct interviews with staff and to require production and take copies of documents onsite. Regulators may also visit staff working at home and seek documents and devices used for work purposes.
Given that fighting financial crime underpins the FCA’s key priorities, firms and their staff may be subject to dawn raids if the regulator has serious concerns in relation to financial crime activity. As noted in our Regulation Tomorrow blog, in January 2023 the FCA announced that it had commenced criminal proceedings against five individuals for conspiracy to commit insider dealing and money laundering following a multi-site search and arrest operation conducted by the FCA in March 2021 with the assistance of the Metropolitan Police.
Firms should have in place, and keep up to date and easily accessible, a documented policy and procedure which employees must follow in the event of an unannounced visit. To assist firms in this area we set out below a reminder of some of the key steps to take to prepare for and manage an unannounced visit from the FCA or PRA.
Where an unannounced or short notice visit is being carried out at domestic premises, the same principles apply and legal/ external counsel should be contacted immediately to request their presence at the premises.
Nina Varumo is a freelance portrait and documentary photographer based in Stockholm. A recent project of hers Kvinnor till sjöss (‘Women at sea’) is on ongoing photo series highlighting the working life of female seafarers in order to change the stereotypical image of what and who is a seafarer.
Companies have been publicly reporting on their financial performance for over a hundred years. However, they are increasingly having to make public non-financial disclosures relating to sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters as a result of rules, laws and regulations issued by stock exchanges, governments and regulators worldwide.
© Norton Rose Fulbright LLP 2023