James Moore: Botched Tchenguiz probe dishes up trouble for SFO
James Moore is the Independent's Associate Business Editor and writes the Outlook City comment column from Tuesday to Friday. He also has a keen interest in disability issues and when not attempting to further injure himself playing wheelchair basketball.
Wednesday 09 April 2014
Outlook Of course, if the FCA's leadership feels that they're having a hard time, they should call their colleagues over at the Serious Fraud Office. The latter's problems make those of the former look almost trivial.
Take the botched investigation into the Tchenguiz family. Property tycoons Vincent and Robert are gunning for revenge, and in suing they may get it. They are seeking a combined £300m in damages over well publicised SFO raids on their homes and offices, which they claim damaged their business. The case has already cost the agency £8m, but that could rise by another £10m on the basis that it goes to trial in October. It gets worse: a judge described the SFO's application for security for costs as "fundamentally flawed". You'd think they'd at least get that one right, but apparently not. This one could yet break an organisation that has been grandiosely dubbed Britain's "top fraud-busting agency" but which increasingly just looks busted.
With the FCA providing an appetiser and the SFO the main course, what about dessert? Well, if you look over at the specials board you'll see the Bank of England, which hasn't been immune from what is a shockingly widespread regulatory malaise, given the controversy over what may or may not have been said by its officials to foreign exchange traders before regulators around the world launched investigations into possible collusion ahead of the deadly exchange-rate fix.
For coffee, there's the failure of the accounting industry's watchdog to do anything meaningful about the way banks' accounts were signed off just months before they had to go cap in hand to the taxpayer.
Politicians and the City's cheerleaders have often boasted about London's "well regulated markets". London's rival financial centres may be wearing wry smiles when they next hear that one.
- 1 Dentist who illegally killed Cecil the lion blames local guides for the scandal
- 2 Kate Winslet thanked 'particularly horrible' girl who bullied her at school after Titanic success
- 3 Norwich paedophile ring: Woman at centre of gang who made children 'sexual play things' guilty of 23 offences
- 4 Black and ethnic minority people twice as likely to be hit by Tory cuts than white people, report finds
- 5 Walter Palmer: American dentist revealed as the killer of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe
Dentist who illegally killed Cecil the lion blames local guides for the scandal
Kate Winslet thanked 'particularly horrible' girl who bullied her at school after Titanic success
Norwich paedophile ring: Woman at centre of gang who made children 'sexual play things' guilty of 23 offences
Black and ethnic minority people twice as likely to be hit by Tory cuts than white people, report finds
Walter Palmer: American dentist revealed as the killer of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
The last thing Labour needs is a leader like Jeremy Corbyn who people want to vote for
I am the Jeremy Corbyn supporter that many will tell you doesn't exist
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
iJobs Money & Business
£22500 - £24500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Inbound and outbound calls with...
£18000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Insurance Bro...
£40 - 45k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Research Associate / Research Anal...
£20000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Summary: The Green Recruitm...