The head of a major Westminster committee has called on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to quickly finish its probe into the collapse of the Woodford Equity Income Fund in 2019.
Treasury Select Committee chair and Tory MP Mel Stride today said in a letter to the FCA that he expects the watchdog “to ensure that this investigation and any regulatory action which follows is resourced to ensure as swift as possible a conclusion”.
The FCA launched an investigation into the high profile hedge fund in June 2019, after it was suspended for not being able to pay back investors unhappy with its performance.
It was discovered at the time that the £3.7bn fund relied heavily on small Alternative Investment Market (AIM ) companies, which are hard to sell off.
The fund completely collapsed in October 2019.
FCA chief executive Nikhil Rathi wrote to Stride last month in a letter released by the Treasury Select Committee today.
Rathi said that all evidence for the investigation was now gathered and that the FCA is “aiming to complete the investigation work by the end of the year”.
“We are now finalising our legal analysis with a view to making decisions as to whether to take action and, if so, what action should be taken and against whom,” he said.
“If any disciplinary action is taken, in the interests of fairness, we will be unable to identify who it is against and what the allegations are until certain stages have been completed.”
Stride responded today, saying that the investigation “remains a matter of keen interest for the committee”.
“I expect the FCA to ensure that this investigation and any regulatory action which follows is resourced to ensure as swift as possible a conclusion, and that the FCA will take every opportunity (within the confines of the law) to update the Committee as the investigation progresses,” he said.