Financial Conduct Authority  

Andrew Bailey faces grilling on LCF fallout

Andrew Bailey faces grilling on LCF fallout
 Andrew Bailey, governor at the Bank of England

The former chief executive of the UK's financial regulator is set to appear in front of MPs to answer questions on the London Capital & Finance scandal which unfolded under his watch. 

FTAdviser understands Andrew Bailey is likely to be summoned before the Treasury committee in the coming weeks to discuss the Financial Conduct Authority's handling of the mini-bond fallout. 

It follows a long-awaited and damning independent investigation into the regulator's supervision of London Capital & Finance, which took place under Mr Bailey's leadership. 

The review by Dame Elizabeth Gloster found the City watchdog had failed to properly regulate the now collapsed company and warned its handling of information from third parties regarding the business was "wholly deficient".

The report also rebuked the FCA for "significant gaps and weaknesses" in its policies and practices and warned of a failure to fulfil its statutory objectives in regulating the scandal embroiled mini-bond provider.  

As first reported by The Times, Mr Bailey is not expected to be asked about London Capital & Finance in the Treasury committee's session with the Bank of England today. Rather, he will appear in a separate session in front of MPs in the next few weeks. 

HM Treasury first requested the independent LCF investigation in May 2019 after the mini-bond provider collapsed owing more than £230m and putting the funds of some 14,000 bondholders at risk.

The review has faced numerous stumbling blocks in the meantime amid the coronavirus pandemic and the delayed disclosure of documents to the investigation by the FCA. 

Dame Elizabeth's investigation concluded bondholders were "entitled to expect, and receive, more protection from the regulatory regime in relation to an FCA authorised firm than that which, in fact, was delivered by the FCA". 

It also warned the permissions granted to the company were not appropriate for the business it carried out and FCA had not "adequately supervised" London Capital & Finance's compliance with the regulator's own rules.

The FCA has since apologised for its actions, with chairman Charles Randell admitting there were a "number of things" the it could have done better in its supervision of the company.