How Many Banks or Financial Companies registered with the FCA acted in a non-transparent way

The request was refused by The Financial Conduct Authority.

George Tsigarides

Dear The Financial Conduct Authority,

Please confirm the following for the years 2021, 2022 and 2023:

1. How many complaints has the FCA received about Banks or Financial Companies registered with the FCA which acted in a non-transparent way.

2. How many complaints that the FCA has investigated about Banks or Financial Companies registered with the FCA which acted in a non-transparent, has the FCA accepted.

3. What penalties has the FCA made against Banks or Financial Companies registered with the FCA which acted in a non-transparent way.

4. What compensation has the FCA made against Banks or Financial Companies registered with the FCA which acted in a non-transparent way.

5. How many Compaints made against Banks or Financial Companies registered with the FCA which acted in a non-transparent way been upheld by the FCA.

6. How many Complaints made against Banks or Financial Companies registered with the FCA which acted in a non-transparent way been upheld by the FCA; with regards to these companies closing bank accounts.

Yours faithfully,

George Tsigarides

Freedom of Information, The Financial Conduct Authority

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The FCA (or, if this email originates from the Payment Systems Regulator
Limited, the FCA on behalf of the Payment Systems Regulator Limited / the
Payment Systems Regulator Limited) reserves the right to monitor all email
communications for compliance with legal, regulatory and professional
standards.

This email is not intended to nor should it be taken to create any legal
relations or contractual relationships. This email has originated from the
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), or the Payment Systems Regulator
Limited.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is registered as a limited company
in England and Wales No. 1920623. Registered office: 12 Endeavour Square,
Stratford, London, E20 1JN, United Kingdom

The Payment Systems Regulator Limited is registered as a limited company
in England and Wales No. 8970864. Registered office: 12 Endeavour Square,
Stratford, London, E20 1JN, United Kingdom

Switchboard 020 7066 1000

Web Site http://www.fca.org.uk (FCA); http://www.psr.org.uk (the Payment
Systems Regulator Limited)

Freedom of Information, The Financial Conduct Authority

3 Attachments

Our Ref: FOI10987

 

Dear Mr Tsigarides

 

Freedom of Information: Right to know request

 

Thank you for your email of 3 January 2024, in which you asked:

 

Please confirm the following for the years 2021, 2022 and 2023:

 

1.   How many complaints has the FCA received about Banks or Financial
Companies registered with the FCA which acted in a non-transparent way.

 

2.   How many complaints that the FCA has investigated about Banks or
Financial Companies registered with the FCA which acted in a
non-transparent, has the FCA accepted.

 

3.   What penalties has the FCA made against Banks or Financial Companies
registered with the FCA which acted in a non-transparent way.

 

4.   What compensation has the FCA made against Banks or Financial
Companies registered with the FCA which acted in a non-transparent way.

 

5.   How many Complaints made against Banks or Financial Companies
registered with the FCA which acted in a non-transparent way been upheld
by the FCA.

 

6.   How many Complaints made against Banks or Financial Companies
registered with the FCA which acted in a non-transparent way been upheld
by the FCA; with regards to these companies closing bank accounts.

 

We are processing your email as a request in line with the provisions of
the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

 

Please accept our apologies for not contacting you sooner; however we have
been liaising with the relevant teams and to determine how best to address
your request, we would need further clarification on the precise scope of
the information you are seeking.

 

We would first like to make you aware that the FCA as an organisation does
not process general complaints unless they are complaints directly against
the FCA and which meet the requirements of the FCA’s complaints scheme,
'Complaints against the regulators'. Any complainant or enquirer who
expresses dissatisfaction in relation to firms or individuals within the
financial services sector generally is referred to the Financial Ombudsman
Service. You may find it helpful to visit [1]the ombudsman service website
for more information.

 

We do however keep a record of contacts made by consumers to the FCA, but
we do not have a specific category under which an expression of
dissatisfaction from a member of the public would be logged as a
‘complaint’. We are therefore unable to run a report specifically on
‘complaints’ received from the public.

 

In addition your request, as it currently stands, is very broad, this is
because where you say ‘Financial Companies’ do you mean all companies we
regulate? If this is the case, then it is very likely that this will take
the request over the cost limit as we would need to review all contacts
received. To help us focus our searches is there a specific type of firm
you are interested in?

 

Further, we are not clear what you mean by ‘acted in a non-transparent
way’ we would be grateful if you could you please provide us with your
interpretation so that we can ensure we are providing the information you
require if that is possible within the cost limit. Can you also please
confirm whether you are seeking information of instances where the firm
has acted in a non-transparent way towards customers or towards the FCA?

 

In respect of question 3, please explain what you mean by ‘penalties’, do
you mean financial penalties i.e. fines or are you referring to other
types of ‘penalties’ that the FCA has the disciplinary powers to impose
for example suspensions, restrictions etc.

 

Finally, in question 4 you have asked ‘What compensation has the FCA made
against Banks or Financial Companies, do you mean if we have instructed
firms to make compensation to customers? If not, please explain what
information you are seeking.

 

Please note that under [2]guidance issued by the Information
Commissioner’s Office:

 

‘If a request is not worded clearly enough to understand or you are unsure
which recorded information is being requested, then you are entitled to
ask requestors for more detail to clarify their request.

 

The 20-working day period to respond will not start until you receive the
clarification you have asked for. It is the responsibility of the
requestor to provide clarification when asked to do so within a reasonable
amount of time. When you ask for clarification you should make clear that
unless you hear back from the requestor, the request will be considered
closed.’

 

The 20-working day period will therefore commence once we have received
sufficient clarification to allow us to deal with your request.  If we do
not receive the further information we have asked you for within 40
working days of the date of this response, we will close this request.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Information Disclosure Team / Communications

[3]Description: cid:image001.png@01D2A7C9.64DDD390

12 Endeavour Square

London

E20 1JN

 

[4]www.fca.org.uk

 

Follow us:

 

[5]Description: https://g.twimg.com/Twitter_logo_blue.pn...
image003

 

Please be polite to our people when requesting information, as we do not
allow abusive behaviour towards them and it may impact our ability to
communicate with you on your request; abusive language is a factor in
considering whether a request is vexatious (which can form a basis for
refusing a request). Find out [7]more.

 

 

This communication and any attachments may contain personal information.
For more information about how and why we use personal information and who
to contact with any queries about this, please see our privacy notices:
FCA Privacy Notice (https://www.fca.org.uk/data-protection) and PSR
Privacy Notice
(https://www.psr.org.uk/cookies-privacy-a...).

This communication and any attachments contain information which is
confidential and may be subject to legal privilege. It is for intended
recipients only. If you are not the intended recipient you must not copy,
distribute, publish, rely on or otherwise use it without our consent. Some
of our communications may contain confidential information which it could
be a criminal offence for you to disclose or use without authority. If you
have received this email in error please notify [email address]
immediately and delete the email from your computer. Further information
on the classification and handling of FCA information can be found on the
FCA website
(http://www.fca.org.uk/site-info/legal/fc...).

The FCA (or, if this email originates from the Payment Systems Regulator
Limited, the FCA on behalf of the Payment Systems Regulator Limited / the
Payment Systems Regulator Limited) reserves the right to monitor all email
communications for compliance with legal, regulatory and professional
standards.

This email is not intended to nor should it be taken to create any legal
relations or contractual relationships. This email has originated from the
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), or the Payment Systems Regulator
Limited.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is registered as a limited company
in England and Wales No. 1920623. Registered office: 12 Endeavour Square,
Stratford, London, E20 1JN, United Kingdom

The Payment Systems Regulator Limited is registered as a limited company
in England and Wales No. 8970864. Registered office: 12 Endeavour Square,
Stratford, London, E20 1JN, United Kingdom

Switchboard 020 7066 1000

Web Site http://www.fca.org.uk (FCA); http://www.psr.org.uk (the Payment
Systems Regulator Limited)

References

Visible links
1. https://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/
2. https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/foi...
4. http://www.fca.org.uk/
5. https://twitter.com/TheFCA
6. https://www.linkedin.com/company/financi...
7. https://www.fca.org.uk/contact-us/unacce...

George Tsigarides

Dear Freedom of Information,

1. Does the FCA not adhere to Banks and Financial institutions acting openly and transparently?

2. Does non-transparency mean the opposite of transparency - i.e. acting in secret?

3. Is this not a clear and concise FOIA request for information regarding Banks and Financial institutions not acting openly and transparently?

4. Has not the FCA recorded many breaches of Banks and Financial institutions not acting openly and transparently?

5. How can a FOIA Request be classified as a complaint, when it is clearly a request for recorded information regarding breaches of openness and transparency by the Banks and Financial institutions the FCA regulates?

6. Is it not clear that the FOIA Request is about how the Banks and Financial institutions have acted in a non-open and transparent manner to their clients?

7. Surely the FCA knows what penalties are - as the FCA uses this term frequently when publishing details of financial breaches of one or more of their regulated Banks or Financial institutions?

8. Surely it is clear that penalties refer to the FCA's disciplinary powers to impose
for example suspensions, restrictions, etc., and award fines?

9. Surely, it is clear that financial compensation is for customers, for stress and duress caused by the Banks or Financial institutions, for their breach of fairness, openness, and transparency.

Please let us know if the above nine points are not clear enough.

Yours sincerely,

George Tsigarides

Freedom of Information, The Financial Conduct Authority

Thank you for e-mailing the Financial Conduct Authority's Information
Disclosure Team.

This is an automatic acknowledgement to tell you that we have received
your email safely.

Please do not reply to this email.

We will be in touch in due course.

This communication and any attachments may contain personal information.
For more information about how and why we use personal information and who
to contact with any queries about this, please see our privacy notices:
FCA Privacy Notice (https://www.fca.org.uk/data-protection) and PSR
Privacy Notice
(https://www.psr.org.uk/cookies-privacy-a...).

This communication and any attachments contain information which is
confidential and may be subject to legal privilege. It is for intended
recipients only. If you are not the intended recipient you must not copy,
distribute, publish, rely on or otherwise use it without our consent. Some
of our communications may contain confidential information which it could
be a criminal offence for you to disclose or use without authority. If you
have received this email in error please notify [email address]
immediately and delete the email from your computer. Further information
on the classification and handling of FCA information can be found on the
FCA website
(http://www.fca.org.uk/site-info/legal/fc...).

The FCA (or, if this email originates from the Payment Systems Regulator
Limited, the FCA on behalf of the Payment Systems Regulator Limited / the
Payment Systems Regulator Limited) reserves the right to monitor all email
communications for compliance with legal, regulatory and professional
standards.

This email is not intended to nor should it be taken to create any legal
relations or contractual relationships. This email has originated from the
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), or the Payment Systems Regulator
Limited.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is registered as a limited company
in England and Wales No. 1920623. Registered office: 12 Endeavour Square,
Stratford, London, E20 1JN, United Kingdom

The Payment Systems Regulator Limited is registered as a limited company
in England and Wales No. 8970864. Registered office: 12 Endeavour Square,
Stratford, London, E20 1JN, United Kingdom

Switchboard 020 7066 1000

Web Site http://www.fca.org.uk (FCA); http://www.psr.org.uk (the Payment
Systems Regulator Limited)

Freedom of Information, The Financial Conduct Authority

3 Attachments

Our Ref: FOI10987

 

Dear Mr Tsigarides

 

Freedom of Information: Right to know request

 

Thank you for your emails of 3 and 31 January 2024, full details of you
request can be found at Annex A below.

 

We have processed your emails in line with the provisions of the Freedom
of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and our response is below.

 

As explained in our previous email the FCA as an organisation does not
process general complaints unless they are complaints directly against the
FCA and which meet the requirements of the FCA’s complaints scheme,
‘Complaints against the regulators’. Any complaint or enquirer who
expresses dissatisfaction in relation to an authorised firm or individual
within the financial services sector is generally advised to complain to
the firm. If the complaint is not resolved to their satisfaction, they can
refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service for an independent
review.  You may find it helpful to visit [1]the ombudsman service website
for more information.

 

Having reviewed your request, we estimate that responding in full would
exceed the cost limit allowed under FOIA and therefore the exemption under
section 12 (Cost of compliance exceeds appropriate limit) applies. This is
because your request, as currently framed, is very broad, as ‘Banks and
Financial institutions’ could relate to all firms regulated by the FCA.

 

For more information on why this exemption applies, please see Annex B
below.

 

When we refuse a request because it exceeds the cost limit, it is our
policy to provide you with advice and assistance on how you can refine or
limit your request so that it is more likely to fall within the cost
limit.  In this case, due to the broad nature of your request, we are
unable to suggest a way in which to refine it.

 

Your right to complain under FOIA

 

If you are unhappy with this response, you have the right to request an
internal review.  To do so, please contact us within 40 working days of
the date of this response at [2][email address].

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you also
have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner by phone or on
their website at:

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

Website: [3]www.ico.org.uk

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Information Disclosure Team / Communications

[4]Description: cid:image001.png@01D2A7C9.64DDD390

12 Endeavour Square

London

E20 1JN

 

[5]www.fca.org.uk

 

Follow us:

 

[6]Description: https://g.twimg.com/Twitter_logo_blue.pn...
image003

 

Please be polite to our people when requesting information, as we do not
allow abusive behaviour towards them and it may impact our ability to
communicate with you on your request; abusive language is a factor in
considering whether a request is vexatious (which can form a basis for
refusing a request). Find out [8]more.

 

 

 

Annex A

 

On 3 January 2024, you asked for:

 

Please confirm the following for the years 2021, 2022 and 2023:

 

1.   How many complaints has the FCA received about Banks or Financial
Companies registered with the FCA which acted in a non-transparent way.

 

2.   How many complaints that the FCA has investigated about Banks or
Financial Companies registered with the FCA which acted in a
non-transparent, has the FCA accepted.

 

3.   What penalties has the FCA made against Banks or Financial Companies
registered with the FCA which acted in a non-transparent way.

 

4.   What compensation has the FCA made against Banks or Financial
Companies registered with the FCA which acted in a non-transparent way.

 

5.   How many Complaints made against Banks or Financial Companies
registered with the FCA which acted in a non-transparent way been upheld
by the FCA.

 

6.   How many Complaints made against Banks or Financial Companies
registered with the FCA which acted in a non-transparent way been upheld
by the FCA; with regards to these companies closing bank accounts.

 

 

On the 31 January 2024, you provided further details on the scope of your
request and explained that the information you are seeking is:

 

 

1.   Does the FCA not adhere to Banks and Financial institutions acting
openly and transparently?

 

2.   Does non-transparency mean the opposite of transparency - i.e. acting
in secret?

 

3.   Is this not a clear and concise FOIA request for information
regarding Banks and Financial institutions not acting openly and
transparently?

 

4.   Has not the FCA recorded many breaches of Banks and Financial
institutions not acting openly and transparently?

 

5.   How can a FOIA Request be classified as a complaint, when it is
clearly a request for recorded information regarding breaches of openness
and transparency by the Banks and Financial institutions the FCA
regulates?

 

6.   Is it not clear that the FOIA Request is about how the Banks and
Financial institutions have acted in a non-open and transparent manner to
their clients?

 

7.   Surely the FCA knows what penalties are - as the FCA uses this term
frequently when publishing details of financial breaches of one or more of
their regulated Banks or Financial institutions?

 

8.   Surely it is clear that penalties refer to the FCA's disciplinary
powers to impose for example suspensions, restrictions, etc., and award
fines?

 

9.   Surely, it is clear that financial compensation is for customers, for
stress and duress caused by the Banks or Financial institutions, for their
breach of fairness, openness, and transparency.

 

Annex B

 

•     Section 12 (Cost of compliance exceeds appropriate limit)

 

FOIA requires us to comply with a request, unless it would be too
expensive to do so, as estimated in line with the Freedom of Information
and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004. 

 

Under these regulations, the cost limit for the FCA is £450, i.e. 18 hours
at the rate of £25 per person hour.  The regulations allow us to take into
account, when estimating the cost of complying with a request, the time
spent determining whether we hold the information requested, locating and
retrieving it, and extracting the information from the relevant
document(s).

 

To establish all the information that falls within scope of your request
would exceed the cost limit.  This is because we do not have the
information you have requested in a readily extractable format. For us to
identify the information within scope, we would need to undertake a review
of all contacts received from either a consumer or firm over the 3-year
period to determine whether it was an expression of dissatisfaction. This
exercise alone would significantly exceed the cost limit.

 

We do not divert our resources from our regulatory functions to meet
requests under FOIA above the cost limit.  While we know this may
disappoint you, we are sorry we cannot carry out an exercise to identify
the information you have requested.

 

 

 

This communication and any attachments may contain personal information.
For more information about how and why we use personal information and who
to contact with any queries about this, please see our privacy notices:
FCA Privacy Notice (https://www.fca.org.uk/data-protection) and PSR
Privacy Notice
(https://www.psr.org.uk/cookies-privacy-a...).

This communication and any attachments contain information which is
confidential and may be subject to legal privilege. It is for intended
recipients only. If you are not the intended recipient you must not copy,
distribute, publish, rely on or otherwise use it without our consent. Some
of our communications may contain confidential information which it could
be a criminal offence for you to disclose or use without authority. If you
have received this email in error please notify [email address]
immediately and delete the email from your computer. Further information
on the classification and handling of FCA information can be found on the
FCA website
(http://www.fca.org.uk/site-info/legal/fc...).

The FCA (or, if this email originates from the Payment Systems Regulator
Limited, the FCA on behalf of the Payment Systems Regulator Limited / the
Payment Systems Regulator Limited) reserves the right to monitor all email
communications for compliance with legal, regulatory and professional
standards.

This email is not intended to nor should it be taken to create any legal
relations or contractual relationships. This email has originated from the
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), or the Payment Systems Regulator
Limited.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is registered as a limited company
in England and Wales No. 1920623. Registered office: 12 Endeavour Square,
Stratford, London, E20 1JN, United Kingdom

The Payment Systems Regulator Limited is registered as a limited company
in England and Wales No. 8970864. Registered office: 12 Endeavour Square,
Stratford, London, E20 1JN, United Kingdom

Switchboard 020 7066 1000

Web Site http://www.fca.org.uk (FCA); http://www.psr.org.uk (the Payment
Systems Regulator Limited)

References

Visible links
1. https://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.ico.org.uk/
5. http://www.fca.org.uk/
6. https://twitter.com/TheFCA
7. https://www.linkedin.com/company/financi...
8. https://www.fca.org.uk/contact-us/unacce...