In the United Kingdom, the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA) regulates financial markets and services. As part of its enforcement powers, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) can compel individuals to attend an interview and answer questions under Section 173 of the FSMA. This is known as a compelled interview.
If you are requested to attend a compelled interview, it is important to understand your rights and obligations. In this article, we will provide an overview of the S173 compelled FSMA interview and what you should expect.
A compelled interview is an interview that is required by law. Under Section 173 of the FSMA, the FCA and the PRA have the power to compel individuals to attend an interview and answer questions if they believe that the individual has information that is relevant to an investigation.
The interview may be conducted in person or by telephone, and the individual may be required to provide documents or other evidence. The interview is conducted under oath, and any false statements made during the interview can be used as evidence in court.
During a compelled interview, the interviewee will be asked questions related to the investigation. The questions may cover a range of topics, including the individual’s background, their relationship with the company or financial institution under investigation, and their knowledge of the relevant events or transactions.
The interviewee is required to answer truthfully and to the best of their knowledge. Failure to provide accurate information can result in legal consequences, including criminal charges.
As an interviewee, you have several rights during a compelled interview. These include the right to:
Seek legal advice: You have the right to seek legal advice before the interview and to have a legal representative present during the interview.
Remain silent: You have the right to remain silent and not incriminate yourself. However, if you choose to remain silent, this can be used as evidence against you in court.
Request a transcript: You have the right to request a copy of the interview transcript. This can be helpful if you want to review the questions and answers after the interview.
Challenge the interview: If you believe that the interview was conducted improperly, you have the right to challenge it. This may involve seeking legal advice and filing a complaint with the relevant authorities.
The consequences of a compelled interview can vary depending on the circumstances. If the interviewee provides accurate information and cooperates with the investigation, they may not face any legal consequences.
However, if the interviewee provides false information or fails to cooperate, they may face legal consequences, including criminal charges. In addition, the information provided during the interview can be used as evidence in court, which can have significant implications for the interviewee and any other parties involved in the investigation.
If you are requested to attend a compelled interview under Section 173 of the FSMA, it is important to understand your rights and obligations. Seeking legal advice before the interview and having a legal representative present during the interview can help protect your interests and ensure that you are treated fairly during the process.