Brexit campaigner Gina Miller has once again stolen the limelight, with a plan to sue the City watchdog over its lenient approach to new regulation.
Miller, who came to public fame after winning a high-profile case which ruled that parliament had to legislate before the government could begin to withdraw the UK from the EU, is complaining that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is allowing some asset managers to flout new rules – therefore creating an "anti-competitive market".
She said that the FCA's lenient approach to the second Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Mifid II), touted as the biggest regulatory shake-up in a generation, was penalising firms which had already complied and allowing less diligent names to get off scot-free.
"The FCA needs to put a hard date in the sand [for firms to comply] or start fining people," Miller told Financial News.
Mifid II, which came into force on 3 January, has been estimated as a costly piece of legislation to comply with. Among other elements, it forces asset managers and wealth managers to reveal their fees – and the cost of the underlying investments – to clients.
Marina Cremonese, of ratings agency Moody's, said today that "the introduction of Mifid II will put pressure on asset managers' profits by lowering their effective fee rate and increasing their costs".
But the FCA said in September that it would not immediately fine firms which had not met the new rules, as long as they had "taken sufficient steps to meet the new obligations".
Miller said that there were "huge companies" who were not conforming with the new regulations. The FCA declined to comment.
A co-founder of wealth manager SCM Direct, Miller has been a prominent campaigner for more transparency in the investment sphere for several years.
She runs campaign group True and Fair, which last October lambasted the FCA after its asset management review for refusing to force asset managers to report costs and charges in a standardised way.