Connaught Fund Independent Reviewer announces update on delivery of his report

Raj Parker, the Independent Reviewer into the FSA/FCA approach to the Connaught Income Fund Series 1 (the Fund), has today announced that he expects that his draft report will be delivered in early May 2020. This will be followed by the usual fact-checking and representations process with the report being finalised in autumn 2020.

Since launching a call for evidence in October 2019, Mr Parker and his team has been encouraged by the substantial volume of information and material they have received from various stakeholders, both in written form and through meetings. As part of the Review, Mr Parker and his team will have conducted more than 30 meetings and interviews with various external stakeholders and FCA current or former staff. The extension of the timeline will allow the expert team to conduct the most thorough possible review of these materials and the evidence they provide and allow the report to be finalised in accordance with the protocol.

It is also anticipated that there may be disruption to the Review as a result of COVID-19. The precise impact that any COVID-19 measures may have on the Review remains to be seen, but if the timing is further affected, an announcement will be made as soon as possible.

Subject to any legal constraints, the FCA intends to publish the report in full.

Notes to editors 

About the Review

  • The FCA Board committed to a review in 2016, following the Complaints Commissioner’s recommendation.
  • The Independent Review will consider the proportionality, appropriateness and effectiveness of the actions taken by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and later the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) when handling the Fund and connected companies. 
  • It looks at the FSA/FCA’s regulation and supervision of the relevant entities including its approach to and response to intelligence, the impact of the FSA's regulatory framework on its ability to protect consumers, how the FSA / FCA communicated with investors and the public regarding the Fund, plus the approach to and involvement in the mediated negotiations before the launch of enforcement investigations in March 2015.
  • On 20 June 2019, the FCA announced that the FCA Board had appointed Raj Parker as the Independent Reviewer to lead the Review.
  • The announcement indicated that the Review was expected to last around 9 months and so was due to report in March 2020.

About the Reviewer

Raj Parker is an Associate Member at Matrix Chambers and a part-time judge and arbitrator. He has conducted many investigations into governance and conduct issues in many different sectors for over 30 years. He has extensive experience in financial markets and regulatory investigations. Before joining Matrix he was a Partner at Freshfields for 23 years, where he specialised in international commercial and financial services dispute resolution.