UK financial watchdog presses ahead with plans to publish probes earlier

FILE PHOTO: FCA logo is seen at their head offices in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Financial Conduct Authority said in a letter on Friday in response to the House of Lords committee that it was pressing ahead with plans to announce investigations earlier.


The House of Lords' Financial Services Regulation Committee said this month the FCA should pause the plans because they risk having a disproportionate effect on companies that turn out to be innocent. At present, the FCA typically gives details of an investigation after it has been resolved.


"We will consider all responses very carefully and we plan a further round of discussion and engagement to ensure we have understood all points raised and to share our initial thinking.

"We also plan to do more work with stakeholders on a granular level to be clear about the process we might follow, the matters we might take into account and – importantly – what announcements might look like."


The government is trying to boost the international competitiveness of London as a financial centre because following Brexit it faces competition from EU financial hubs as well as New York. Critics worry the FCA's "naming and shaming" plans could put off overseas companies investing in Britain.

The FCA said it wants UK markets to sustain their competitiveness and grow on the reputation for fair play, cleanliness and integrity, with effective regulation a key foundation for that reputation.

(Reporting by Huw Jones, editing by Ed Osmond)