3.2 Warning Notice
If the CEO decides to issue a Warning Notice it will include:
- the action that s/he is considering taking;
- the grounds and reasons why s/he is considering taking that action;
- the material on which s/he relies in issuing the Warning Notice;
- the firm or individual’s right to make representations and the timescales for doing so in accordance with legislation. Absent specific legislative provision in a particular case, the period will be 28 days. This may be extended by the GFSC in its discretion.
The firm or individual may make representations to the CEO either by way of oral or written representations within the specified, prescribed time period. Such representations as are made must be taken into account by the CEO when making a final decision.
The Enforcement Committee meets again to:
- review and consider any written representations made; and/or
- hear and consider any oral representations made; and
- consider the matter in the light or in the absence of any representations and all other relevant material.
The CEO may decide to refer the matter back to Enforcement for further investigation if s/he considers it appropriate to do so.
3.4 Decision Notice
Following consideration of the case by the Enforcement Committee in light of representations received, or in the absence of any representations, and all other relevant material the CEO makes a final decision to:
- discontinue the action specified in the warning notice; or
- take the action specified in the warning notice; or
- either take any other action which can be taken without the issue of a new warning notice or decide to issue a new warning notice in respect of any other action.
If the CEO’s decision is to take the action specified in the warning notice or any other action s/he will issue a Decision Notice setting out:
- the action taken (including any sanction imposed);
- the grounds and reasons for which action has been taken; and
- the firm or individual’s right of appeal to the Supreme Court if available and the timescales for appeal.
If the CEO’s decision is to discontinue the action, s/he will issue a notice of discontinuance.
3.5 Right of Appeal and/or Judicial Review
Following the issue of the Decision Notice, the firm or individual may have the right to appeal the outcome to the Supreme Court or to refer the decision to a judge of that court. The nature of such right depends on the statute under which the GFSC has made its decision.
Different statutes provide for different types of appeal. Some statutes provide for the effect of the Decision Notice to be stayed pending appeal, others do not. In both cases, some Acts provide for a right of application to court by the firm or individual for a stay or by the GFSC for any automatic stay not to apply.
Some Acts specify a time period within which to lodge an appeal, others do not. The provisions of rules 13 to 24 of the Supreme Court Rules (Appeals in Civil Matters) apply to appeals from the decisions of the CEO by virtue of rule 31 of the Supreme Court Rules.
Where this process applies and there is a right of appeal the GFSC will generally stay the effect of its decision pending determination of any appeal brought within the prescribed period or expiry of that period without appeal. Where the GFSC considers that there is an ongoing significant risk to its statutory objectives and that the protection of the interests of consumers or other overriding public interest requires it we may decide, where we have discretion, that the effect of our decision will not be stayed pending determination of an appeal.
Where a statute under which a decision has been made does not provide for a right of appeal, the firm or individual will have the right to apply for leave to judicially review the decision of the CEO in accordance with the rules of law applying to such judicial reviews. Where this process applies and there is no right of appeal we will stay the effect of its decision pending determination of any judicial review commenced within 28 days of the decision.
To the extent that we are permitted or required by law to do so we will publish information about a matter to which a Decision Notice relates. Where we have discretion in that respect, we reserve the right not to publish where we consider that it is not in the public interest to do so or that the public interest is not advanced by publication.
We will generally withhold publication until following determination of an appeal or after the expiry of the appeal period, unless we consider that it is necessary or desirable in the public interest for us to do so following issue of the Decision Notice and the law permits it. You can find our policy on publication here.