On 18 April 2023, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority published its first Regulatory Actions Report, covering the period 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023. The Report highlights enforcement action taken during the reporting period, with a view to not only deterring unlawful conduct, but also to create awareness of regulatory requirements.
Some of the key activities highlighted in the report include:
- 481 new investigation cases, the majority of which relate to conducting unauthorised FAIS and insurance business.
- The FSCA finalised 406 cases, with 329 cases ongoing cases.
- The imposition of R153 864 300 in administrative penalties on 44 investigated parties, which number was reduced to R100 644 300 following suspension orders and amounts set aside on reconsideration by the Financial Services Tribunal.
- The suspension of 984 Financial Service Provider licences, the withdrawal of an additional 420 licences, and the debarment of 210 persons from providing financial services.
- The publication of 47 public service warnings, alerting the public to possible unauthorised or illegal activities.
- The FSCA took 1 668 administrative action decisions during the reporting period, of which approximately 1,4% were set aside on reconsideration to the Financial Services Tribunal.
The report provides interesting insight into the enforcement process adopted by the FSCA, including:
- the establishment of a dedicated enforcement division;
- reliance on the enforcement powers granted to the FSCA under the Financial Sector Regulation Act, 2017;
- increasing reliance on digital measures and tools to accelerate results; and
- collaboration and cooperation between the FSCA and both international and domestic counterparts and other regulatory authorities.
The report is comprehensive and insightful, and is evidence of the proactive stance being taken by the FSCA to fulfil its mandate of ensuring the stability of financial markets, and promoting fair treatment of financial customers through a robust regulatory framework. The report will be issued annually, and can be accessed here.