FCA's Adamson under fire

A co-op bank sign

Clive Adamson, the financial regulator who last week told MPs that the widely criticised appointment of Paul Flowers as chairman of Co-op Bank was the "right decision at the time", is today under fire for alleged "disturbing inaccuracies" in his evidence to the Treasury Select Committee.

Mark Taber, the financial specialist who corralled retail holders of Co-op Bank's bonds to accept the failing bank's rescue plan, accuses Mr Adamson of misrepresenting "the FCA's involvement in the restructuring" and "are even incorrect as to the deal we ultimately negotiated for retail investors".

Mr Adamson, the director of supervision at the Financial Conduct Authority, told MPs on the Treasury Select Committee: "The retail bondholders, in my view, received as best a deal as we could get for them" and that he accepts "responsibility for doing the best for bondholders that we could do given the events that have occurred".


But Mr Taber, in a letter to members of the Treasury Select Committee, makes a couple of claims:

1) That the FCA never responded to a request from the retail bondholders' legal advisers for the FCA to force the Co-op to engage formally with the retail investors.

2) That in reply to a letter from Mr Taber and Niall Booker (Co-op Bank's chief executive) to Mr Adamson and Martin Wheatley (chief executive of the FCA), requesting help in the communication of the rescue offer to bondholders - because Co-op Bank would have gone bust if the offer had not been accepted - the FCA said that it was "not responsible for proactively driving communication of the offer".

Paul Flowers arrived at Stainbeck police station on Tuesday to answer bail Paul Flowers arrived at a police station on Tuesday to answer bail

Mr Taber cites emails from the Co-op Bank and two leading investment banks, Greenhill and Moelis, corroborating his claims.

Mr Adamson also told MPs that most retail bondholders "retained their income for 10 years and then suffer a haircut thereafter".

In fact, retail bondholders had a choice of maintaining their income for 12 years, at which point the value of their entire investment would be wiped out (which is not the same as a haircut), or took reduced income for 10 or 12 years and then would incur a haircut (loss of capital value) of between 15% and 50%.

The FCA said: "We strongly refute any suggestion that Clive Adamson misrepresented the FCA's role in the Co-op Bank's Liability Management Exercise (LME). The FCA's role in the LME has always been to ensure bondholders are treated fairly.

"Because of the recently announced enforcement investigations by the FCA and PRA, we cannot provide further comment. The Chancellor has also announced an independent review into the events that led to the LME and this will include the role of the FSA and its successors, the PRA and FCA."

Robert Peston Article written by Robert Peston Robert Peston Economics editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 36.

    @loglorry "Mark Taber is a man with huge integrity. He spent many hundreds of hours working on behalf of pensioners to minimise the losses they incurred. "

    Didn't he setup a series of websites promoting these kinds of investments and even one (fixedincomeorderbook - 'fiob') which actually enabled pensioners to buy these kinds of investments in the first place?

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    Effectively interested parties, i.e, The Co-Op. Ed Balls, The Labour party the FCA and the auditors are ALL responsible for the failure of the Co-OP bank and yet it is the Bondholders who have taken the financial hit. THET didn't run the bank, nor were they responsible for the financial mismanagement.

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.

    30 (to the moderators) why fracking regulation is the same as financial regulations

    The problem is the way that regulation (so called independent regulation) is used as a political cover system for the way the establishment's iron grip on the country is enforced.

    All these guys are front men - lackeys of the corporate state (bankocracy).

    The' theory' is regulation is independent - but it isn't!

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.

    Clive Adamson taking credit, from an unpaid campaigner, for getting the best deal for private bondholders is like Col Ghaddafi saying he drove through electoral reform in Libya.

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    31.Chris London
    "Never mind about the FCA you should look at the BBC for reporting that inflation has reached 2% However fail to mention that RPI actually went up to 2.7%"


    Yes, and real property rose by 8%, if you believe the lenders. Both RPI and CPI are near-meaningless, as to the value of money.


Comments 5 of 36



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