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Watchdog told to issue public apology to whistleblower

Complaints Commissioner recommends Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issue public apology to whistleblower in the Connaught fund scandal.

Watchdog told to issue public apology to whistleblower

The Complaints Commissioner has recommended the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issue a public apology to the whistleblower in the Connaught funds scandal, owing to its ‘lack-of care’ in its treatment of him and ‘regulatory failure’.

In a separate report yesterday the commissioner - which investigates complaints against the FCA - heavily criticised the regulator for its handling of the collapsed Connaught Series 1 Income Fund, following a complaint by a financial adviser and announced there would be a third-party review of the case.

Investors are understood to have lost as much as £100 million in Connaught, which invested in bridging loan firm Tiuta, when it went into liquidation in September 2012.

The Connaught fund was suspended in April 2012, but over a year before this, the chief executive of Tiuta, George Patellis, contacted the FCA’s predecessor, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), bringing evidence of alleged fraud and financial insolvency into the FSA, but his initial concerns were not addressed by the regulator before the fund collapsed.

In May Citywire's New Model Adviser® revealed the FCA apologised privately for its ‘poor treatment’ of Patellis following his complaint over the way the regulator treated him.

The FCA upheld some parts of the complaint, and offered Patellis £500 for the inconvenience caused. He has since declined this award.

MPs criticised the FCA’s response, with, parliamentary under-secretary in the department of trade, Mark Garnier, saying the offer of £500 ‘seemed rather patronising’.

Patellis was not satisfied with the FCA’s ‘partial’ apology and went to the Complaints Commissioner.

Today it released its response which said while ‘the FCA’s complaint response goes some way to acknowledging the FSA’s deficiencies in this matter but does not go far enough’.

It recommended the FCA issue a public apology to Patellis.

Patellis said the Commissioner had laid bare a 'festival of ingnorance'. 

'Overall I'm pleased with the commissioner's findings,' said Patellis. 'I believe he was fair and looked at the facts. I wish he had gone a bit deeper into the evidence I provided and more on the disproportionate blame heaped on IFAs. It is gratifying to see that after a six-year festival of ignorance the truth is coming out.' 

3 comments so far. Why not have your say?


Dec 06, 2016 at 18:26

I see nothing wrong with FCA's treatment of Patellis. He has had his apology and he should stop wanting jam on it.

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Chris Clark

Dec 06, 2016 at 19:10

@FrankFrank - I assume you say this in jest?

There was nothing funny about dealing with the FSA under Hector Sants, where denial came first, secrecy second, and vigorously fought freedom of information requests and lawsuits that tried to bring truth out.

I say this as campaign team member for Arch cru collapse working to get redress back.

So suggest you may wish to appraise yourself of the facts before you make statements.

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graham tilston

Dec 06, 2016 at 19:40

I complained many years ago about David Aaron and Partners of Milton Keynes I believe my complaint was not handled fairly. A few years later David Aaron was banned for life

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