Bank of England sets out plans to halve fines for early cooperation

·1-min read
People walk outside the Bank of England in London

LONDON (Reuters) -The Bank of England set out plans on Thursday to halve fines for regulatory breaches in certain cases where institutions and individuals cooperate early with its investigations, in order to speed up its enforcement processes.

The BoE is not the main body responsible for policing misconduct in Britain's financial markets, but its Prudential Regulation Authority does oversee some aspects of banks and insurers' operations.

Over the past 10 years, the BoE has concluded a total of 25 enforcement actions, for example fining the former chief information officer of TSB Bank, Carlos Abarca, 81,620 pounds in April for IT failures which caused widespread disruption to customers in 2018.

While Abarca benefited from a 30% reduction in his fine due to agreeing to resolve the issue, under the new proposal the BoE would be able to reduce punishments by up to 50%.

"The changes we are consulting on include the creation of options for quicker investigatory outcomes, by providing a new route for early cooperation and increased incentives for earlier admissions by subjects," BoE Deputy Governor Sam Woods said.

The BoE also said it intended to set out the scope of its enforcement powers more clearly, and change how it calculates financial penalties for businesses and individuals.

The consultation will run until Aug. 4.

(Reporting by David Milliken; editing by William James and Sarah Young)