Odey Case Hands FCA Another Showdown With MPs

The stage is set for another high-profile and potentially embarassing showdown between MPs on the Treasury Select Committee and the Financial Conduct Authority

Alliance News 15 June, 2023 | 7:48AM
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Crispin Odey

MPs on the Treasury Select Committee have begun quizzing the UK's financial regulator over how it has handled allegations of sexual misconduct against Crispin Odey.

The committee has asked the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) how much it knew about the allegations and what action it had taken.

Crispin Odey and his investment firm, Odey Asset Management, has been once more embroiled in scandal after a Financial Times investigation last Thursday reported a series of allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct from women who either worked at the firm or had social or professional dealings with Odey.

Reports have since suggested the millionaire Brexiteer dismissed two executive committees that were involved in internal investigations into his conduct.

Odey strenuously denies the allegations. He was also found not guilty of indecent assault in 2021, following a criminal trial. 

Reports now suggest the FCA had been privately investigating the firm and its founder prior to the FT's expose last week.

But in a letter to FCA chief executive Nikhil Rathi, the Treasury Committee asked the regulator to precisely outline the "nature and intensity" of its engagement and monitoring of Odey's firm over the past five years.

The watchdog was reportedly given a report of Odey's conduct in early 2021 after the firm took disciplinary action against him. The committee has also asked the watchdog to confirm whether or not this information was received, and if so, what action it took in response.

And it asked whether the FCA has expanded any ongoing probe into Odey Asset Management following the newspaper report. 

The FCA has a deadline of Wednesday 5 July to respond. Top executives at the regulator are also set to be grilled by the Treasury Committee in person next month over its role in investigating Odey Asset Management.

MP Harriett Baldwin, chair of the Treasury Committee, said: "culture in financial services, and the experiences of women in the industry, are ongoing concerns of the Treasury Committee.

"Journalists at the Financial Times have shone a light on deeply troubling allegations of conduct regarding the actions of a powerful individual.

"We look forward to receiving a response from the financial regulator on these important issues."

Odey has denied the allegations against him. The hedge fund financier was ousted from the firm earlier this week after several large banks and financial institutions moved to cut ties with his firm.

Source: Press Association, with additional reporting by Ollie Smith, UK Editor, Morningstar

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