Jamie Symington has spoken on firms’ internal investigations of their own affairs. Mr Symington discussed the importance of early engagement with FCA so the regulator can assess the need for input accordingly, the attention that firms need to pay to managing risks when navigating internal investigations and the FCA expectation that firms will share the core product of their investigations with the regulator. He also detailed some typical points that FCA would seek to establish with a firm that is conducting an internal investigation, including:

  • to what extent it can rely on the report in any subsequent enforcement proceedings;
  • access to the underlying evidence or information that was relied upon in producing the report;
  • whether the firm is willing to disclose material over which it claims legal privilege, and how FCA can use it;
  • how evidence will be recorded and retained;
  • whether there are any conflicts of interest and, if there are, how they will be managed;
  • whether the report will describe the roles and responsibilities of identified individuals;
  • whether the investigation will be limited to ascertaining facts, or will also include advice or opinions about breaches of FCA rules or requirements;
  • how the firm intends to inform FCA of progress and communicate the results of the investigation; and
  • the expected timescale for completion.

(Source: FCA Symington – Internal Investigations by Firms)