Lawyers accuse FCA of breaking its own rules

LAWYERS advising a top FTSE 100 insurer have advised that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) did break its own market abuse rules when it briefed a journalist on an investigation into insurance products last week. A review is now underway into the claims.

The chancellor George Osborne is said to be concerned that the City watchdog could kick its investigation into the long grass and is pushing for a quick result, City A.M. understands.

In his letter to the FCA  this week, George Osborne detailed a range of questions he wants the probe to consider and said he “would like to discuss the emerging conclusions of the work” with the FCA’s chairman, John Griffith Jones. The statement is intended to show the FCA the strength of the chancellor’s focus after the briefing hit insurers share prices. Last week the FCA said it would look into life insurance products dating back 40 years – but failed to fully update the market on its plan even as shares dived across the sector. An independent director and a law firm – as yet not appointed – will investigate how the shambles was allowed to take place.