Independent review of the Connaught Income Fund Series 1

An independent review into the FSA’s – and subsequently the FCA’s – handling of the Connaught Income Fund Series 1 and connected companies. We set out our response to the review.

The Connaught review

Raj Parker conducted the review of the FCA’s handling of the Connaught Income Fund Series 1 and connected companies which was published on 17 December 2020.

FCA response

We accept the 5 lessons Mr Parker sets out in his report. Our response explains the changes we have made since the key events which took place between February 2007 and March 2015. And we set out the further work we have planned in response to the recommendations.

Background to the Connaught review

The FCA Board committed to a review in 2016, following the Complaints Commissioner’s recommendation. This followed the investigation of a complaint made by a whistleblower who provided intelligence on the Connaught Fund.

The start of the review was deferred until it would no longer prejudice any enforcement investigations.

The independent review considered the proportionality, appropriateness and effectiveness of the actions taken by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and later the FCA when supervising Tiuta, Capita and Blue Gate. It looked at the regulators’ approach to and response to intelligence, plus the FCA’s approach to and involvement in the mediated negotiations before the launch of enforcement investigations in March 2015.

Independent Reviewer and scope of the review

On 20 June 2019, the FCA announced the appointment of Raj Parker to carry out the review and published a detailed Terms of Reference setting out the scope and parameters of the review.

In scoping the review, we considered points raised in correspondence from MPs, enquiries from investors and the formal complaints against the FSA and FCA. We also reviewed the evidence from FSA/FCA Senior Managers’ appearances at relevant sessions before the Treasury Select Committee.

We also sought the input of key external stakeholders or represented parties affected by the failure of the Connaught Fund.

A Protocol setting out the approach to the conduct of the investigation and underlining the nature of the review was published on 14 August 2019. The review began on 15 October 2019, when Raj Parker invited affected individuals to get in touch.

Raj Parker biography

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.

Next steps

The FCA Board – and its Audit and Risk Committees – will oversee the implementation of the recommendations of this and the LCF Review (led by Dame Elizabeth Gloster). The Chairs of the Board and these 2 Committees will issue a report within our Annual Report, explaining how they have performed this oversight role.

We will update this website with the progress of our continuing transformation programme.