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Woodford under fire from Jersey financial regulator

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Fallen fund manager Neil Woodford has been publicly reprimanded by the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) after announcing his plans to base his new business on the channel island.

The Jersey financial watchdog criticised Woodford for announcing his plans for Woodford Capital Partners before submitting an application to operate from Jersey.

In a statement, the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) said: “We note that WCM Partners has publicly announced in a press release that it plans to operate as an investment management company out of Jersey and Buckinghamshire.

“We are disappointed to see this announcement in advance of either receiving or processing any application from this company for authorisation to conduct licensed business as an investment management firm in Jersey. It would be normal practice when making such an announcement to make it clear that it is ‘subject to regulatory approval’.”

JFCS said that while WCM Partners had been reserved in the Jersey Registry as a trading name, an application to operate from the channel island had not been received.

The development will come as a fresh blow to Woodford who was the subject of an out-of-hours statement from the UK Financial Conduct Authority earlier this week.

The FCA said on Tuesday that it has been in discussions with the JFCS and would share information on Woodford with the fellow watchdog. The FCA is currently investigating Woodford Investment Management.

The Woodford Equity Income fund was suspended in June 2019 following an increase in redemption requests which couldn’t be readily met. In October 2019, Link confirmed the £3bn fund would be wound-up with cash returned to investors as soon as possible. But investors have waited a long time for their money.

Law firm Leigh Day is pursuing a group claim for investors who have lost cash as a result of the fund’s mismanagement.

Woodford announce his plans to set up a new investment firm in an emotional interview with The Telegraph at the weekend.