Probe into FCA handling of mini bond delayed

Search sponsored by
Probe into FCA handling of mini bond delayed

The High Court judge leading the investigation into the Financial Conduct Authority's handling of the London Capital and Finance scandal said the Covid-19 pandemic has forced her to push back the investigation.

Dame Elizabeth Gloster announced today (June 2) the target date for completion of the independent investigation has been delayed by two months to September 30, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic impacting the timetable for interviews with FCA employees.

There have previously been delays in receiving documents and information from the FCA, which again impacted the investigation team’s timetable to interview FCA employees. 

At the time the intention had been to still complete the work within the original timeframe, reporting by July 10, 2020, but this has now been changed.

Dame Elizabeth said: “The decision to extend the timeline for completion of my investigation has not been taken lightly. I appreciate that this may well cause anguish to some LCF investors, given the substantial personal and financial impact on many of them as a result of LCF’s collapse. 

“However, I consider that it is critical for my team and me to develop as complete a picture as possible in relation to the key issues in order that my report, when finished, will be comprehensive and robust. 

“Once completed, I will share my report with the FCA for submission to HM Treasury in accordance with the protocol.”

Charles Randell, chairman of the FCA, said the regulator had no objection to the proposed extension and would continue to work with Dame Elizabeth to deliver to this timeframe.

Mr Randell said: "There is still a great deal of uncertainty about the progress of the pandemic, its impact on consumers, the economy and financial services in general, and hence on the FCA and its priorities in light of its statutory objectives.

"We are grateful for your recognition of how this uncertainty could impact on the availability of senior management for interview, and your flexibility to reschedule meetings with them at short notice should circumstances dictate."

Mr Randell confirmed all but one interview has been completed with junior employees while four meetings have been scheduled with senior management, including Andrew Bailey, former chief executive officer of the FCA.

The independent investigation will consider the FCA’s actions, policies and approach when regulating LCF. 

For example, it will focus on whether the regulator adequately supervised LCF’s compliance with its rules and policies and if it established appropriate policies for responding to information provided by third parties regarding the conduct of LCF.

It will also look into whether the FCA received information of significance concerning the conduct of LCF and if it responded appropriately.