Hunt’s Intervention Exposes FCA’s Widening Rift with Westminster

Hunt’s Intervention Exposes FCA’s Widening Rift with Westminster

With the news that Jeremy Hunt warned the Financial Conduct Authority against ‘naming and shaming’ businesses under investigation, John Binns, Partner at BCL Solicitors was quoted in Bloomberg and Edward Fennell’s Legal Diary as saying:

“The sensible approach — and the FCA is among the more professional and sensible of regulators — is that it’ll make sense to name people some of the time,” said John Binns, a white collar crime lawyer at BCL in London. “They do seem increasingly to be tackling issues where government or politics intervene, and I worry that political pressure may be hard to resist.”

“The obvious point surely is that there is (or should be) no shame at all in being under investigation. In the same way as we value due process for individuals, so businesses (and their owners and personnel) should have the benefit of the doubt unless and until wrongdoing is proved. At that point, a public censure may or may not be an appropriate step, depending on the severity of and blame attached to the breach. It should not have to take an intervention from a minister, let alone the chancellor, for a regulator to understand this.”

“He demonstrates a deep understanding of the issues at hand, and his approach to navigating the complexities is both thoughtful and strategic.”

John’s comments were first published in Bloomberg on 1 May 2024 here, and in Edward Fennell’s Legal Diary on 3 May 2024 here.

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