Independence of investigations into FCA draws questions

Maria Nikolova

Where such investigations are conducted, HM Treasury take steps to ensure their independence which is crucial to the integrity of their conclusions, Lord Young of Cookham explains.

The recent launch of an investigation into the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the events surrounding the demise of London Capital & Finance have sparked questions around the independence of such investigations.

Lord Myners has asked Her Majesty’s Government what tests they apply to determine whether an investigation into the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) meets the standard required to be described as independent of the FCA; and what assessment they have made of whether FCA employees acting for an investigation compromises its independence.

In response, Lord Young of Cookham said that, where such investigations are conducted, HM Treasury take steps to ensure their independence which is crucial to the integrity of their conclusions. For instance, in the recent case of the events surrounding the failure of London Capital & Finance plc (LCF), and following a request from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Economic Secretary to the Treasury required that an independent investigation be carried out under powers in section 77 of the Financial Services Act 2012.

The Economic Secretary approved the appointment of Dame Elizabeth Gloster, an experienced QC and Judge at the High Court and Court of Appeal, to lead it. Prior to this approval, potential conflicts of interest were investigated and HM Treasury is satisfied that Dame Elizabeth is independent from the FCA, HM Treasury and the companies and individuals associated with LCF’s failure.

Under the terms of the Economic Secretary’s Direction to the FCA, Dame Elizabeth has the discretion to appoint a team which is entirely independent of the FCA, Lord Young said. A process is now underway to appoint an independent legal team to support Dame Elizabeth in her investigation. The FCA is also under a duty to facilitate the disclosure to Dame Elizabeth any information that she deems relevant to the scope of her investigation. Should Dame Elizabeth wish to raise any matters directly to HM Treasury, she can do so at any time, under the terms of the Direction, via an interim report, he added.

In July this year, Dame Elizabeth made her first announcement of how she will conduct the investigation. Dame Elizabeth aims to engage with bondholders, professional organisations and other interested parties in an organised and structured way so that she can address the issues which are relevant to her investigation.

Individuals impacted by the failure of LC&F will also be able to send any relevant information via email. The email address is [email protected] and will only be accessed by Dame Elizabeth and her independent team.

Read this next


Coinbase integrate with Brazil’s Pix payment network

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has integrated the Brazilian government’s payment system Pix and started allowing users to top up and withdraw money from their accounts using Brazilian Real.

Retail FX

eToro integrates with TradingView charts

Israeli broker eToro has upgraded its social trading platform to integrate professional charting and trading platform TradingView.

Digital Assets

Eurex rolls out first Bitcoin index futures in Europe

Deutsche Börse’s derivatives-focused exchange, Eurex is looking to bring another level of diversification to cryptocurrency traders with the launch of Bitcoin index futures.

Digital Assets

Apex Group taps Crypto Finance for digital-asset infrastructure

Swiss fintech Crypto Finance, the crypto arm of German stock exchange operator Deutsche Boerse, has partnered with US-based financial services provider Apex Group to offer institutional-grade crypto products.

Digital Assets

OneCoin legal officer faces decades in jail for laundering proceeds

Irina Dilkinska, former head of legal and compliance of cryptocurrency scam OneCoin, is facing up to 40 years in prison for her participation in the massive fraud scheme.

Institutional FX

Alpha Group reports solid financials for 2022

Foreign exchange service provider Alpha Group International plc (AIM: ALPH) announced its results for the financial year ending December 31, 2022, which showed solid performance in terms of revenue and earnings growth.


OANDA review: Top FX broker with a digital asset offering 

FinanceFeeds reviewed OANDA Corporation, a FX broker in the US founded in 1996.

Digital Assets

Fluidity and Request Finance launch cashback program with stablecoins and low fees

“Request Finance helps thousands of enterprise teams and DAOs use stablecoins easily. We wanted to work with them to introduce this cashback program as a fun way of rewarding people for using stablecoins for payments.”


Tools for Brokers makes it easy to migrate to its liquidity bridge for MT4/5, cTrader, Match-Trader

“We know how hard it is to move to a new liquidity bridge, especially for prime brokers who distribute liquidity to other market participants. And we didn’t want our clients to miss out on all the functionality that Trade Processor has to offer.”