Who's Watching You?
Are you aware of just how many governmental departments and independent agencies have powers to investigate and prosecute you or your business for breaking the law or breaching regulations – you might well be surprised!
To name just a few, the Environment Agency has the power to investigate breaches of environmental law; HM Revenue and Customs have the power to investigate tax evasion and the Financial Conduct Authority can investigate breaches of codes of conduct by businesses or professionals that provide financial services.
Whilst regulators provide a vital service, finding yourself under their microscope can be a scary experience.
Investigations can result in punishments being issued by the relevant body or even criminal proceedings in court, the impact of which can be devastating to your business or you personally.
Regulators have many powers they can use when investigating regulatory offences or related crimes, including the following;
- Interview you under caution
- Search your offices or home
- Freeze your company or personal assets
- Force you to hand over documents or information
- Prosecute you through the Magistrates or Crown Courts
- Charge you with a criminal offence
- Seize and search your computer or other electronic devices
Your business activity may not bring you into direct contact with the regulators mentioned but there are many more including;
- Serious Fraud Office
- Office of Fair Trading
- Competition Commission
- Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
- Vehicle & Operator Services Agency – VOSA
- Health & Safety Executive (HSE)
If you are the director or officer of a business you may have personal liability for any actions or decisions you make on behalf of your company and could face having to pay the costs of defending yourself, legal costs can run into thousands of pounds. Management Liability Insurance is a type of cover that offers financial protection to those who are the director, partner or officer of a company. It is designed to cover the cost of claims for compensation made against the insured individual.
Speak to me about your existing level of cover and further steps you can take to stay protected.