Tuesday 25 February 2020 5:35 pm

Gina Miller calls for review of Andrew Bailey’s Bank of England role after ‘toxic’ FCA tenure

Campaigner and asset management boss Gina Miller today called for a review of Andrew Bailey’s appointment as governor of the Bank of England after his “toxic” tenure as head of the City watchdog.

Miller’s True and Fair campaign today published as a report called “Asleep at the wheel” about the string of City scandals during Bailey’s time as chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

“Andrew Bailey’s tenure as CEO of the FCA has been characterised by a toxic cocktail of negligence, incompetence and indifference to the needs of ordinary depositors, investors and pensioners,” Miller said.

“On his watch, hundreds of thousands of Britons have lost money – in many cases, losing their life savings which has devastated their lives, families and businesses,” she added.

Miller called for new chancellor Rishi Sunak to launch an urgent review of Bailey’s appointment to succeed Mark Carney and urged the Treasury Committee to review the process to appoint him.

The report accuses the FCA of a string of errors, including the failure to investigate a complaint by a whistle-blower against the Hbos Group, the failure to publish its independent report into the treatment of Royal Bank of Scotland business customers and its failure to respond to whistleblower warnings about London Capital & Finance which collapsed leaving 11,600 customers with losses of up to £236m.

It also highlighted the FCA’s failure to prevent the Woodford scandal in which hundreds of thousands of investors lost millions and the suspension of illiquid funds such as the M&G Property Fund.

An FCA spokesperson said: “We utterly reject these claims which contain numerous inaccuracies and are made with little understanding of the role of the FCA. We have disagreed with the Millers on numerous issues relating to the investment industry, and our oversight of it, over recent years and we note their previous calls on Andrew to resign. This is just another example.”

Miller and her husband Alan Miller co-founded wealth management firm SCM Direct. They have been frequent critics of the FCA’s regulation of funds, previously calling for Bailey’s resignation over the Woodford scandal.

Miller said: “The report we have published today makes it clear Mr Bailey is not a fit and proper person to be the next governor of the Bank of England.”

“Were he to be confirmed in this highly responsible and prominent role, it would be a gross betrayal of the government’s duty to protect consumers, and a textbook example of rewarding failure.”

Former business minister Vince Cable MP said: “This report is a damning indictment of failure by the FCA to
exercise proper regulatory oversight over conduct within the banking and wider UK financial
services system.”

Miller is also known for fronting two successful legal challenges against the government in relation to Brexit.

The Bank of England declined to comment. The Treasury was contacted for comment.