Investor lobbyist wants review of UK financial regulator after Woodford
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[June 18, 2019] LONDON
(Reuters) - Retail investor lobbyist Gina Miller's wealth management
firm has asked the UK government to commission an independent review of
Britain's financial regulator after the suspension of Neil Woodford's
flagship fund, it said on Tuesday.
Miller, who in 2016 sued the British government over triggering Brexit
and has been a champion of retail investors over issues like fees, has
previously criticised the UK's Financial Conduct Authority over its
handling of European financial regulations.
Woodford's heavy investment in unlisted stocks and those listed only in
Guernsey has come under scrutiny from the regulator after his 3.7
billion pound ($4.6 billion) fund was frozen on June 3 as it was unable
to meet redemption requests.
That has left investors unclear as to when they will get their money
"As evidenced by the Woodford saga, it is a disgrace that the FCA has
not changed rules allowing companies 'seeking' a listing within the next
12 months or companies listed on exchanges, even if rarely traded, to be
somehow treated as if they were listed," Miller's firm SCM Direct said.
The UK government should "launch an independent root and branch review
of the FCA", it said in a statement, adding that it wanted "to end the
dismal treatment of UK retail fund investors".
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Anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller addresses the audience at the
Liberal Democrats Conference in Brighton, Britain, September 17,
2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo
Miller said the FCA should ban funds from which investors can redeem daily or
weekly from investing any further money into unlisted or illiquid stocks or
More than 18 billion pounds in assets under management in property funds were
suspended for several weeks shortly after the Brexit referendum in 2016 as
investors rushed for the exits.
The FCA declined to comment. The UK finance ministry did not immediately respond
to request for comment.
Miller also said whistleblowers should be financially rewarded, and that UK
mutual funds should have "truly independent boards".
($1 = 0.7983 pounds)
(Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by Jan Harvey)
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