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MPs call for answers on Woodford probe

Written by: Emma Lunn
The Treasury Select Committee has written to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), urging the regulator to set out a timeline into its investigation into fund manager Neil Woodford.

The watchdog begun its investigation into the Woodford Equity Investment fund the same month when the fund was closed in June 2019. But it said this week that its investigations have been hampered by the coronavirus pandemic.

The FCA is also investigating the actions of Link Fund Solutions, which acted as the authorised corporate director for Woodford Investment Management’s funds.

The increased pressure on the FCA to conclude its investigations into the former star stock-picker come in a turbulent week for Woodford.

Woodford announced last weekend that he plans to set up a new investment company Woodford Capital Partners, to be based in Jersey.

But on Tuesday evening the FCA issued a statement stating it had been in discussions with the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) regarding Woodford’s plans.

Then on Thursday, Woodford was publicly reprimanded by the Jersey regulator which said it had not received an application from Woodford regarding basing his new business on the channel island.

MP Mel Stride, chair of the Treasury Select Committee, wrote in a letter to the FCA yesterday: “The previous Treasury Committee was vocal in its concerns regarding the failure of the Woodford Fund and the impact on its investors.

“As the FCA’s investigation still continues over 18 months after the fund was suspended, the reports of the new fund may understandably be of concern to investors who previously lost out. The FCA should set out when we can expect its investigation to conclude.

“In the meantime, it’s important to note Mr Steward’s comments reiterating some of the factors that the FCA will consider when taking a decision to authorise a new firm, along with the co-operation that has been agreed between the FCA and the Jersey Financial Services Commission.”

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