Regulatory Enforcement Against Organizational Insiders: Interactions in the Pursuit of Individual Accountability

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The UK Financial Conduct Authority has developed and implemented policies targeting individuals for regulatory non‐compliance in the post‐2008 crisis period. This article develops a tripartite framework that differentiates between individual–firm, regulator–individual, and regulator–firm interactions to capture the complexity of these enforcement proceedings. Drawing on interviews with stakeholders, administrative decisionmaking observations, and documentary analysis, it outlines the process of individualizing responsibility for non‐compliance and finds that this approach poses evidential and investigative challenges for the regulator as a result of individual and corporate responses. The evidence shows that individuals are more likely than firms to engage in an adversarial response to an investigation rather than to settle. At the same time, through an inverse process of “corporatization” of the enforcement proceedings, firms may employ resources and strategies aimed at obscuring individual responsibility or binding together more closely the corporate and the individual case. The article concludes that the prospects of a successful outcome in investigating individuals depend not only on regulators' activities but also on corporate responses and on which managers are considered assets to the firm and which may be thrown to the wolves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-316
Number of pages19
JournalRegulation & Governance
Issue number2
Early online date23 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2021


  • corporatization
  • individual accountability
  • managers
  • regulatory enforcement
  • regulatory interactions


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