FRC commences investigation into audits of London Capital & Finance

The audits in question were carried out by Oliver Clive & Co., PwC and EY.

The UK Financial Reporting Council (FRC) today confirms that it has commenced three investigations into the audits of London Capital & Finance plc.

The investigations will cover the audits for the one month period ended 30 April 2015 (carried out by Oliver Clive & Co.), the year ended 30 April 2016 (carried out by PwC) and the year ended 30 April 2017 (carried out by EY).

The probe will be conducted by the FRC’s Enforcement Division under the Audit Enforcement Procedure.

In the meantime, it has become clear that the independent investigation into the Financial Conduct Authority’s regulation of London Capital & Finance would be delayed. Dame Elizabeth Gloster anticipates completing the report by the end of July/early August 2020. Taking account of the requirement to go through the Representations Process, her revised target date for completion of her investigation would be September 30, 2020.

As FinanceFeeds has reported, FSCS said in February that it paid just under £2.7 million to 135 LCF customers in relation to 151 bonds. These bonds were invested following transfers out of stocks and shares ISAs.

In May, the FSCS said it expects to complete the process of reviewing claims relating to misleading advice given to LCF customers by the end of September.

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has earlier this month unveiled proposals to make permanent its ban on the mass-marketing of speculative illiquid securities, including speculative mini-bonds, to retail investors. The ban came into effect in January 2020, and was initially set to last for 12 months.

On June 18, 2020, the regulator outlined its plans to make the ban permanent. In introducing the rules permanently, the FCA is proposing a small number of changes and clarifications to the ban introduced in January. This includes bringing listed bonds with similar features to speculative illiquid securities and which are not regularly traded within the scope of the ban.