Violation Tracker UK, produced by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First, brings together enforcement data obtained from 49 UK regulatory agencies with responsibility for banking, consumer protection, environmental, employment, health and safety, and other matters. A list of the agencies and the online locations of their data can be found here.
We have put all the information into a standard set of categories to allow the user to search across many types of cases at the same time. The companies named in the violations are linked to more than 700 parent companies headquartered in the UK or abroad. Entries not linked to any of these companies are listed without a parent designation.
The basic data was obtained from the websites of the regulatory agencies. We did so by scraping the information from their online databases or extracting key data elements from official press releases or other documents posted on those sites. Wherever possible, we collected data back to the beginning of 2010. Some agencies limited their data to shorter periods. We do not include cases brought against individuals or government agencies.
When matching entities named in the individual cases to our parent universe we use the current parent, even if the firm was part of a different corporate “family” at the time the cases was resolved.
Joint ventures are treated like subsidiaries when one of the owners has a stake of more than 50 percent; those in which no owner has a majority interest are treated as independent companies. Portfolio companies of private equity firms are treated the same way.
There are three main ways to access the information in Violation Tracker UK.
Accessing the Data
Home page search features
The home page allows you to create searches with up to three variables: company name, offence group and the regulatory agency bringing the action. The company name search covers parents as well as subsidiaries.
The offence groups are six broad categories into which all the cases in Violation Tracker UK have been divided: competition-related offences, consumer-protection-related offences, employment-related offences, environment-related offences, financial offences, and safety-related offences.
The agencies are the regulatory bodies from which we gather case information.
After making your choice and clicking on the Filter button, the search results will appear below. You can click on any of the individual items to see the full entries. See below for details on the data contained in the individual entries.
Parent Summary Pages. The home page also contains a dropdown menu listing all of the 650 parent companies for which we aggregate data. When you choose one of the parents you will be taken to an overview page on the parent containing the following items:
Basic information on the company: ownership status, headquarters location and both major industry group and specific industry.
Penalty total. The total value of the penalties in the dataset linked to the parent through its subsidiaries or directly.
Number of cases. This shows the total number of cases, including those with monetary penalties and those without.
Offence groups. A breakdown of the parent’s cases according to the six broad groups listed above.
Top offence types. A breakdown of cases associated with the parent according to a larger list of more specific types. We have tagged every entry in Violation Tracker UK with one of about 50 categories. On the parent pages we display totals for the five offence types for which the company has the most monetary penalties.
Violation Tracker link. A link to the corresponding summary page (if any) for the parent in the U.S. Violation Tracker.
Individual Violation Records. A list of all the individual Violation Tracker UK entries associated with the company. The default setting for the table is to show the cases ranked by penalty amount, but it can be re-sorted by subsidiary name, offence type, year or agency.
Other Summary Pages and Lists
Next to the parent dropdown on the home page is a link called Summaries. This will take you to a page from which you can display several other types of overview pages. They include summaries for each Parent Industry, Offence Group, and Agency as well as the Countries in which parent companies are headquartered.
Industry Summary Pages. These provide access to overviews of about 50 industry groups into which we have divided the parent companies based on their major field of operation. These pages show aggregate penalty and case numbers for the parents assigned to that industry as well as a list of the ten parents in the group with the most penalties. There is also a list of the individual records connected to all the parents in the industry. The default setting for the table is to show the individual entries ranked by penalty amount, but it can be re-sorted by company name, parent name, offence type, year or agency.
Offence Group Summary Pages. These provide access to overviews for each of the six broad offence groups into which cases have been divided. These pages show aggregate penalty and case numbers for the entries we have designated as part of the group. Unlike the parent and industry summary pages, the amounts here include all entries in Violation Tracker UK, not only those linked to a parent company. There is also a list of the ten parents with the most penalties in the group as well as a list of the related individual records. The default is to show the individual entries ranked by penalty amount, but it can be re-sorted by company name, parent name, parent industry, offence type, year or agency.
Agency Summary Pages. These provide access to overviews for each of the more than 40 regulatory agencies whose cases are included in Violation Tracker UK. These pages show aggregate penalty and case amounts for the entries related to the agency—both those linked to a parent and those not linked. There is also a list of the ten parents with the most penalties imposed by the agency as well as a list of relevant individual entries. The default is to show the individual entries ranked by penalty amount, but it can be re-sorted by company name, parent name, parent industry, offence type or year.
Headquarters Summary Pages. These provide access to overviews for each country in which Violation Tracker UK parents are headquartered. These pages show aggregate penalty and case amounts for country as well as a list of the ten parents with the most penalties. There is also a list of the relevant individual records. The default setting is to show the individual entries ranked by penalty amount, but it can be re-sorted by company name, parent name, parent industry, offence type, year or agency.
Next to the Overviews are links to the following Lists:
Most Penalised Totals. The 100 parents with the largest monetary penalty totals.
Industry Totals. Monetary penalty totals for each of the major industries into which we have divided the parent companies.
Offence Group Totals. Monetary penalty totals for each of the six offence groups into which we have divided all entries.
Largest Penalties. The 100 largest individual monetary penalties.
This option allows the user to create custom searches by entering up to 14 variables:
Company: This field can be used whether or not the target company is on our list of parents. The name can be searched in five different ways: Starting with the letters or words entered; Is equal to (exactly matches) the letters or words entered; Contains any one of the words entered; Contains all of the words entered; or Ends with the value entered.
Parent Industry: This field allows searching by the industry groups we have assigned to parent companies (and thus their units and subsidiaries). It will not yield results related to entries for firms not matched to a parent. Choosing one of these industries alone will display the same overview pages described above. Use CTRL-click to choose more than one option from the dropdown.
Offence Group: This field allows searching by one of six broad offence groups.
Offence Type: This field allows searching by more specific offence types.
Penalty Amount: results can be restricted to particular value ranges by choosing one of the following: Is greater than, Is greater than or equal to, Is equal to, or Is less than or equal to. Note that amounts must be entered as plain digits commas; e.g. enter £1 million as 1000000.
Resolution type: This feature allows for limiting search results to cases with monetary penalties or those without.
Agency: This field allows searching by the regulatory agency that determined the violation. This field covers all entries in the database, not only those matched to a parent. Choosing one of these agencies alone will display the same agency overview page described above. Use CTRL-click to choose more than one option from the dropdown.
Year: use the dropdown to limit search results to those announced in a given year. The years are those contained in agency records. Use CTRL-click to choose more than one year.
Prime Minister: This field allows searching limited to penalties announced during periods when a specific PM was in office.
Text: free-text search for words or phrases contained in any of the data fields in individual records, including the notes.
City/town: This field allows for searches limited to cases brought against facilities in a specific locality. Not all entries have this information, so search results will be incomplete.
Nation/Region: use the dropdown to limit the search to cases involving companies in different component parts of the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland). Not all entries have this information, so search results will be incomplete.
Parent Ownership Structure: This field allows searching limited to cases linked to parent companies in one or more of the following ownership categories: cooperative, employee-owned, government-owned, joint venture, mutual, non-profit, out of business, privately held or publicly traded. It will not yield results related to entries for firms not matched to a parent.
Parent Headquarters Country: This field allows searching by the country in which a parent is headquartered. It will not yield results related to entries for firms not matched to a parent. Choosing one of these places alone will display the same headquarters overview page described above.
Intermediate Search Results
After choices have been made from the categories above and the search button has been pressed, the site will display intermediate search results containing the following fields:
Parent Company Name (if the recipient has been matched to a parent)
Parent Major Industry (if the recipient has been matched to a parent)
The company names and the penalty amounts are hyperlinked to the individual entry for the award, which contains additional information (see below). If a parent name appears, it is linked to the summary page for the parent company. The table can be sorted by any of the columns.
Data Fields for Individual Entries
There is no standard set of data fields used by all regulatory agencies in their violation reporting. We thus had to re-arrange and re-label the data we collected in order to conform to a standard set of fields we chose. Penalty records usually do not provide data for every one of our fields. Individual entries display only those fields for which we have data.
The following is the full set of data fields that may appear for any given individual entry:
Company: The name of the company as it appears in the original agency records, with some obvious typos corrected.
Current Parent Company: The ultimate owner of the recipient firm, as derived from research using outside sources such as corporate annual reports and the Companies House database. The parent names are hyperlinked to the summary page for that parent.
Penalty: The amount of any monetary penalty reported by the agency
Year. The year contained in the agency record.
Date: The specific date contained in the agency record.
Offence Group: Each entry has been tagged with one of six broad offence groups encompassing multiple offence types.
Offence Type: Each entry has been tagged with a more specific offence type from a list of about 50 categories. A list of which offence types have been assigned to which offence groups can be found here.
Violation Description: An explanation of the nature of the violation, if the information is included in the data source.
City/town: The location of the facility that was the subject of the violation. Not all entries contain this information.
Nation/Region: The component part of the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) where the company or facility is located. Not all entries have this information.
Agency: The regulatory agency that originated the case.
Case ID: The case identifier applied to the case by an agency (not always available).
HQ Country of Parent: The country in which the parent company is headquartered.
Ownership Structure of Parent. One of the following list of ownership categories in which we have grouped our universe of parent companies: cooperative, employee-owned, government-owned, joint venture, mutual, non-profit, out of business, privately held or publicly traded.
Major Industry of Parent: One of the industries into which we have grouped our universe of parent companies.
Specific Industry of Parent: A more focused industry designation. These are not included in the parent industry search feature but are covered in the text search.
Source of Data: A link showing where the violation data was obtained.
Notes: Explanatory information about this entry only or a larger set of entries to which this entry belongs.
Search results can be downloaded to a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet or as an XML file. Downloading is subject to a limit of 1,000 records. When using Excel, import the download file for better results.
If you wish to request a full dataset for non-commercial purposes, contact Philip Mattera of the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First at [email protected].
Last updated October 20, 2022