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LONDON – Britain’s financial watchdog should drop plans to publicise its investigations sooner until a thorough analysis of its impact has been completed, a committee of lawmakers from parliament’s upper house said on Monday.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) proposed in February to announce corporate investigations earlier, publish updates, and close inquiries more quickly in an effort to prioritise cases with the most impact and reassure the public that “we are on the case”.

The House of Lords Financial Services Regulation Committee said it had written to the FCA to highlight its concerns at the watchdog’s plans, saying they risked having a “disproportionate effect on firms named in investigations, where those firms are subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing”.

“‘Innocent until proven guilty’ is a fundamental principle of our justice system. The committee is presently unconvinced that the FCA has justified departing from this important principle and taking an approach that is at odds with almost all other financial services regulators,” the committee said in a statement.

“The FCA has not carried out a cost-benefit analysis of its proposal or even assessed its likely impact. That’s why we’re calling on the regulator to pause implementation until our committee has had a chance to gather evidence and scrutinise its proposal,” the committee said.

The FCA had no immediate comment.

  • Published On Apr 22, 2024 at 04:17 PM IST

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