MARTIN Wheatley, the chief executive of the financial regulator, told a committee of MPs yesterday that he sees no reason to investigate the Royal Mail sell-off, despite a National Audit Office report that revealed the UK taxpayer has lost out to the tune of £750m.
Appearing before the public accounts committee yesterday, Wheatley said: “Nothing I have seen so far indicates regulatory failure.” He added that the Financial Conduct Authority does not have a responsibility to check that a proper value has been achieved when a company launches on the stock market.
“An IPO that goes, on the back of a prospectus and a marketing campaign, to a premium, does not of itself generate a suspicion of regulatory failure,” Wheatley said.
The government sold 60 per cent of Royal Mail last year for 330p per share. The sale raised £2bn but quickly came under fire after shares in the company rocketed.
At market close yesterday the going rate for a share in the company was 511.5p.