On July 15, 2015 the FCA published final guidance and Handbook amendments relating to its concurrent competition powers, together with a policy statement setting out its responses to feedback received during the consultation earlier this year. The guidance and policy statement deal with a number of issues, including the contentious Principle 11 self-reporting duty. One of the key concerns raised during the consultation related to the extension of Principle 11 to a duty to report actual or possible competition law infringements to the FCA. Concerns were raised as to the timing, scope and nature of this duty, and the possibility that it conflicts with the privilege against self-incrimination and the CMA’s competition leniency policy.
What this means for you
In light of these responses, the FCA has agreed to qualify the self-reporting obligation so that it only captures ‘significant’ infringements, and has provided guidance on the meaning of ‘significant’. The FCA has also urged firms to take a sensible approach to the wording ‘may have infringed’. Although the inclusion of a materiality threshold is helpful, there is still a degree of uncertainty as to when the duty arises.