City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority blasted as poodle of savings industry
The City watchdog is under fire for allowing Neil Woodford and his business partner to cream off £14million from fees charged to savers, months before their investment empire crumbled.
One campaigner lambasted the Financial Conduct Authority as the ‘investment industry’s poodle’, after Woodford was able to walk off with £9million in dividends from his firm last year and Craig Newman with £4.8million.
The FCA was criticised throughout the Woodford saga for inadequate protection of investors, and for failing to step in when the fallen fund manager continued to charge customers even when they were trapped in his funds.
The Financial Conduct Authority was criticised throughout the Woodford saga for inadequate protection of investors
The FCA is run by Andrew Bailey, who will succeed Mark Carney as governor of the Bank of England in March.
Alan Miller, founder of investment firm SCM Direct, said: ‘For ten years now we have been saying that the FCA is not fit for purpose and is nothing less than the investment industry poodle.
‘How can they have allowed Neil Woodford and Craig Newman to take out £13.8million personally in dividends in the 12 months leading up to the scandal, when many ordinary investors will lose more than half of every £1,000 they handed over?
‘This just serves to illustrate the magnitude of the greed and lack of morals these fund managers possess.’
In 2017, the FCA published a study into asset managers which found that more needed to be done to increase price competition as too many average firms were raking in huge profits.
But Henry Tapper, chief executive of pensions rating agency Agewage, said: ‘I don’t see what pressure the FCA has put on asset managers to provide better value for investors.
‘There simply wasn’t enough regulatory oversight of Woodford.’