Seven suspected cases of phoenixing stopped by regulatory taskforce

Hannah Godfrey reports...

Seven cases of suspected phoenixing have been prevented this year by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), led by the Financial Services Regulatory Partners Phoenixing Group.

Since January, the FCA reported it had prevented phoenixing when two notices were issued warning firms that their regulatory applications would be refused because of phoenixing concerns, leading to the withdrawal of their applications.

In five other cases, one financial adviser and four financial advice firms withdrew their applications once the FCA had discussed phoenixing concerns with them.

Members of the group created to tackle phoenixing include the FCA, the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, the Insolvency Service and the Accountant in Bankruptcy.

The parties work together sharing data regularly to attempt to prevent phoenixing, which the FCA described as “the practice of firms and individuals deliberately seeking to avoid their liabilities or poor conduct history by closing down firms only to re-emerge in a different legal entity”.

The group will next meet formally in May 2020.

FCA director of authorisations Sarah Rapson said: “I am very encouraged by the early successes that collaboration through the working group has already delivered and am confident we can achieve more through data sharing, analytics and, in the future, machine learning.”