The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates financial businesses operating in the UK, including banks, insurance companies and brokers. The FCA has wide powers to investigate instances of wrongdoing and may bring enforcement proceedings against individuals or companies (which are civil proceedings) and/or bring a criminal prosecution.
Some of the largest fines imposed for bribery-related activities have been a result of regulatory enforcement, as opposed to criminal prosecutions. In particular, under the regulatory regime, it is a positive requirement to have in place adequate systems and controls, not merely a defence available where a corporate has failed to prevent bribery on its behalf.
The FCA’s predecessor, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), fined AON Ltd and Willis Ltd (insurance brokers) £5.25m and £6.895m respectively for failure to put in place adequate systems and controls in relation to overseas intermediaries. The FSA also imposed significant fines on RBS plc, UBS AG and Barclays Bank plc (totalling in excess of £300m) in relation to the LIBOR and EURIBOR scandal, demonstrating the importance of understanding regulatory, as well as criminal, risk.
The FCA has similar but not identical powers to those of the SFO in terms of compelling witnesses and requesting disclosure of information/documents.
Further information about the FCA's acitivities can be founds on its website here.