To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have investigated the change of name on the FCA register of authorised parties of Regal Pawnbrokers Limited to Collateral (UK) Limited; whether they identified any concerns about that change in respect of Collateral (UK) Limited; and if so, when.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they were aware that Collateral (UK) Limited advertised itself as having interim authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) when this was not the case; whether the FCA has taken any action against that firm, its shareholders or directors; and what assessment they have made of whether that firm continued to raise money from investors after the Government were made aware of it falsifying its authorisation.
The Government monitors the development of the peer to peer (P2P) sector and engages regularly with P2P platforms and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), who are responsible for the regulation of the sector. This requires platforms to be authorised by the FCA and subject to FCA rules governing, among other areas, how they handle client money and promote themselves to consumers, and capital requirements.
The regulatory status of Collateral (UK) Ltd, and the events which led to its register entry appearing to show that it held an interim permission, when it did not, are matters the FCA is investigating as they may involve fraud or misconduct by persons connected with the firm who may have misused the register. In order to avoid prejudicing any proceedings which may arise from the investigation, the FCA are unable to provide further details of how they believe the change to the register came about.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is operationally independent from Government. These questions relate to the FCA and have been passed on to them. The FCA will reply directly to Lord Myners by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.