FCA reported to ICO over Mifid enforcements

Written by Oliver Wade
23/07/2018

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in an attempt to force the authority to reveal what action it is taking against those firms failing to comply with Mifid regulations.

SCM Private founder and wealth manager Alan Miller, also founder of the True and Fair Campaign, was responsible for reporting the FCA.

The Mifid II rules require firms to disclose the total charges of investment products, both in percentage terms and in pounds and pence.

Miller wrote to the FCA to request details of how many firms the regulator has written to in relation to a possible breach of the rules, as well as details of how many firms have self-reported to the FCA for breaching the rules. The SCM Private founder also requested information on potential breaches communicated to the enforcement referral team by FCA supervisors and how many firms have been considered at the FCA’s enforcement referral meeting.

Miller further requested information on the number of occasions the FCA has appointed investigators to handle potential rule breaches. He then wanted to see details of meetings and correspondences between the FCA and industry trade bodies or representatives with regards to the implementation of the regulations, which came into force on 3 January.

Miller said that the FCA did not respond to his request for this information, claiming that the regulator is required to disclose this.

The FCA said it has yet to respond because it needs to consider whether the request meets the requirement of being in the “public interest”.

Miller has reportedly been advised by lawyers that the FCA has exceeded the time limit it has in law to meet these requests. If successful, the ICO can force the FCA to release its data and recommend changes at the authority.

Miller previously threatened to take the regulator to a judicial review if it did not disclose the information. He said that research he conducted, which was shared with the FCA, revealed 100 per cent of online wealth managers, 70 per cent of DIY investing platforms and 78 per cent of traditional wealth managers were not disclosing the information as required by law.

FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey has told the Treasury select committee in June that the regulator would start to take action soon.

He said the FCA had stepped back in the first six months after Mifid was introduced to balance implementation of the new rules to ensure markets function well, but it was about to change this approach.

The FCA has declined to comment.

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