The purpose of this paper is to discuss the implications of recent decisions by the UK Information Commissioner under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, ordering the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA), over its objections, to disclose details of certain investigations.
Explains the details of two recent decisions by the Information Commissioner that have called into question whether the FSA can refuse to disclose the names of firms it investigates or censures privately or informally.
If the Information Commissioner's view is upheld over the FSA's appeals, the FSA could no longer conduct mystery shopping exercises and other types of informal thematic investigations without the risk of the details of those exercises having to be disclosed, and the Information Commissioner's reasoning could possibly be extended to require the disclosure of the FSA's views about firms expressed in reports prepared by supervisors, such as Arrow reports, and private warnings.
Practical interpretation of FSA policy by expert securities lawyers.
Conceicao, C. and Gray, R. (2008), "Freedom of information rights may result in the FSA's views about regulated firms becoming public", Journal of Investment Compliance, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 14-17. https://doi.org/10.1108/15285810810859261
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