Capita hands £51m to FCA over Connaught

Capita hands £51m to FCA over Connaught

Capita Financial Managers has paid £51m to the Financial Conduct Authority in respect of redress for its role in the collapse of a series of unregulated investments.

Last year the FCA said CFM should pay up to £66m to those investors who suffered a loss after investing in the Connaught Income Fund Series 1, or the Guaranteed Low Risk Income Fund Series 1, as it was previously known.

A payment of £51m has now been received by the regulator, with a further £15m ring-fenced in a separate escrow account in the names of both the FCA and Capita, and will be transferred to the regulator when Duff & Phelps, the fund's liquidators, have calculated the redress payments.

In a statement Duff & Phelps said the calculation of the redress payments was "ongoing and progressing well".

But it added: "The calculation process requires the collation of investor transactional data. This process has taken longer than projected due to delays encountered in receiving and processing this data from third parties.

"Certain data remains outstanding at the point of this update however it is currently expected that all final data will be received in the coming weeks and that the calculation will be completed by the beginning of May."

The fund, which is now in liquidation, was an unregulated collective investment scheme which Capita ran from March 2008 providing short term bridging finance to commercial operators in the UK property market.

CFM was the operator of the fund until it resigned in September 2009, before the fund went into liquidation in December 2012.

Overall investors lost around £118m in three versions of the Connaught funds when they collapsed.

The FCA found there were "serious issues" which arose during CFM’s tenure as operator and it failed to ensure its replacement was fully informed about these.

CFM also failed to communicate with the fund’s investors in a way that was clear, fair and not mis-leading, the regulator said.

For its part, the FCA has also agreed to conduct a review into the way its predecessor - the Financial Services Authority - regulated the Connaught fund after the conclusion of its enforcement investigation.

In 2016 the Complaints Commissioner found the FCA "shifted the focus" away from its regulatory failings onto advisers who sold Connaught funds to their clients and, in response to this, the regulator agreed to appoint a third party to conduct a review.