Wealth Manager - the site for professional investment managers

Register free for our breaking news email alerts with analysis and cutting edge commentary from our award winning team. Registration only takes a minute.

ABI calls for Wheatley’s head after FCA zombie fund fiasco

1 Comment
ABI calls for Wheatley’s head after FCA zombie fund fiasco

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) is calling for Financial Conduct Authority head Martin Wheatley (pictured) to resign, according to the Sunday Times.

The trade body for insurers is understood to be furious by the muddled way the financial watchdog revealed it would launch an investigation into life policies sold between 1970 and 2000.

According to the paper, the ABI is planning to write a letter to chancellor George Osborne outlining its issues and demanding Wheatley’s resignation.

Reports on the morning of 28 March claimed the FCA would probe 30 million of these so called zombie funds based on comments made by FCA official Clive Adamson.

Investors dumped insurance shares on the reports and an increasingly anxious L&G - which was among the heaviest hit - issued a stock exchange statement demanding clarification on the plans as the market became increasingly 'disorderley'

The regulator eventually issued a statement in the afternoon stressing the investigation would not be as wide-ranging as feared and that modern rules would not be imposed retrospectively.

The statement helped pare back losses for insurers but did not prevent the sector nursing a £2.4 billion loss.

In its clarification the FCA said the investigation would be conducted by external lawyers. 'This is not a review of the sales practices for these legacy customers and we are not looking at applying current standards retrospectively – for example on exit charges,’ the FCA said.

Over the weekend Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Commons Treasury Select Committee, said the FCA seemed to have made an ‘extraordinary blunder’.

‘It is crucial that we have a full and transparent explanation about how such an apparently serious mistake came to be made by our financial services watchdog - the body appointed by parliament to enforce high standards of conduct’, Tyrie said.

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.
Your Business: Cover Star Club

Profile: how this boutique beat the big guns of wealth

Profile: how this boutique beat the big guns of wealth

This small west country offshoot of a local IFA scooped a 2018 Citywire award from beneath the noses of the national challengers

Wealth Manager on Twitter