[Albert Owen in the Chair] — Arch Cru Compensation Scheme

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:01 am on 19th October 2011.

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Photo of Alun Cairns Alun Cairns Conservative, Vale of Glamorgan 10:01 am, 19th October 2011

My right hon. Friend raises a good point. I have raised that issue with the FSA, which said that it was beyond its jurisdiction. However, to my mind, protecting UK investors is certainly its priority and should fall within its jurisdiction.

To date, there has been no explanation of the logic behind the £54 million offered, and the conditions are somewhat restrictive. Having recently met with the FSA, I know that the reasons behind the current delay concern third-party rights, which I understand. However, it has taken more than two and a half years from suspension to get to the current stage.

I have a constituent who invested several hundred thousand pounds of his retirement money into the funds, but there will be constituents of other hon. Members present who had invested far smaller sums, and which may be even more significant to them individually. A figure of 70% of the valuation at suspension is completely inappropriate, given that all that our constituents had done was to invest in a regulated, cautious-managed fund with a regulated, authorised corporate director and approved auditors. The delay conflicts with the timing of a possible legal challenge. Investors need to act soon to fall within the legal time frame set out by the courts.

In considering criticism of the FSA, it seems hardly just that, having failed in its responsibility to regulate, it has the responsibility to investigate and negotiate a compensation package for the people whom it failed in the first place.