Connaught review held up by FCA probe

Connaught review held up by FCA probe

The Financial Conduct Authority's review into the failed Connaught fund has still not started as the regulator continues its investigation into the matter.

The regulator agreed to carry out a review into how its predecessor, the Financial Services Authority, regulated the Connaught Income Series one fund after the FCA's watchdog, the Complaints Commissioner, found it had "shifted the focus" away from its regulatory failings and onto IFAs.

But since then the FCA has said it cannot begin such a review until its enforcement investigation into the matter is complete, which is still not the case.

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Writing to the Treasury select committee, the FCA's chief executive Andrew Bailey said: "While the substantive review will only begin when it will not prejudice the enforcement investigation, we are doing what preparatory work we can to begin the review as soon as the enforcement investigation is complete.

"As with previous enforcement work, it is impossible for us to give a running commentary or a firm deadline because this depends on how an investigation progresses.

"I will keep the committee updated as far as possible."

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.

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

In March 2015 the FCA decided to investigate the activities of Capita and Blue Gate in connection with their roles as operators.

Last November the FCA announced that Capita Financial Managers would pay up to £66m to investors who had suffered a loss as a result of their investment.

This brought an end to its investigation of Capita, but the regulator has said other aspects of its investigation were ongoing.