Pulling aside the cloak of regulatory secrecy
By Debra Kirkwood
In a decision in January, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had breached the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and directed it to issue an ‘appropriate response’ to a document request. This may assist those IFAs still defending the Financial Services Compensation Scheme’s (FSCS’s) Keydata litigation, and could limit the regulator’s ability to refuse future FOIA requests.
Almost immediately after the Financial Services Authority (FSA) put Keydata into administration, it was inundated with FOIA requests for documents and information concerning its monitoring of Keydata.
After the FSA said in November 2011 that all traded life policy investments (TLPIs) were high-risk investments unsuitable for most UK retail investors and the FSCS started its litigation against IFAs who had sold Keydata TLPIs, many IFAs sought information about the FSA’s own thematic review into Keydata sales between 2006 and 2008. Rumours abounded that the FSA itself classified the asset as medium risk, leaving many IFAs asking how ‘high risks’ not apparent to the FSA should have been identified by them…
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