Financial Conduct Authority  

LCF investors want action not sympathy says FCA

LCF investors want action not sympathy says FCA

The chairman of the financial regulator has admitted investors in the scandal-embroiled London Capital & Finance want action, not his sympathy. 

It came as Charles Randell warned the Financial Conduct Authority would face "a great deal of very difficult food for thought" as a result of an independent investigation into its actions surrounding the mini-bond provider's collapse. 

Speaking at the FCA's annual public meeting today (September 24) Mr Randell said the investigation led by Elizabeth Gloster into the regulator's handling of the scandal was nearing an end.

When asked if he was ashamed of the FCA's actions in the case, Mr Randell said: "The huge distress felt by investors in LCF is something that I try as hard as I can to understand, but I know that you will feel that I can't fully understand the distress you are suffering.

"What you want from me is not sympathy, you want action."

London Capital & Finance entered into administration in 2019 owing more than £230m and putting the funds of some 14,000 bondholders at risk.

The FCA found itself in hot water earlier this month when it emerged the independent investigation into its supervision of the collapse had once again been delayed by two months. 

Dame Elizabeth said the latest delay followed the regulator disclosing a further 3,500 documents related to the case in mid-July, which she warned should have been flagged to her team earlier. 

According to Dame Elizabeth the FCA had taken seven weeks to produce the additional documents and errors in the regulator's disclosure of information had been a "theme" throughout the course of the investigation. 

Interviews with senior staff at the FCA had also apparently only been made possible from mid-June and had taken "much longer than anticipated" whilst requiring "substantial additional work". 

It is not the first time the City watchdog has been criticised for its conduct during the investigation, with Dame Elizabeth warning in January the FCA had not "appreciated the scale of the task from the outset". 

In response to Dame Elizabeth's criticisms at the time, Mr Randell apologised and pointed to technology and the coronavirus crisis as contributors to the delays. 

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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