1Decisions recorded in FCA final notices or supervisory notices will be taken into account in any subsequent case if the later case raises the same or similar issues to those considered by the FCA when it reached its earlier decision. Not to do so would expose the FCA to accusations of arbitrary and inconsistent decision-making. The need to look at earlier cases applies irrespective of whether the decisions were reached following settlement or consideration by the RDC or the Tribunal. This reflects the fact that a person’s agreement to the action proposed by the FCA in the earlier case would not have relieved the FCA of the obligation to ensure that the final decision was the right regulatory outcome, both for the person concerned and more generally.
1The FCA recognises the importance of consistency in its decision-making and that it must consider the approach previously taken to, say, the application of a particular rule or Principle in a given context. This applies equally to consideration by the RDC or by the settlement decision makers when they look at action taken by the FCA in earlier, similar, cases. This is not to say that the FCA cannot take a different view to that taken in the earlier case: the facts of two enforcement cases are very seldom identical, and it is also important that the FCA is able to respond to the demands of a changing and principles–based regulatory environment. But any decision to depart from the earlier approach will be made only after careful consideration of the reasons for doing so.