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FCA takes aim at Link with £50m fine – AJ Bell

Written by Ryan Hughes, head of investment partnerships at AJ Bell

News that the FCA has issued Link Fund Solutions a draft Warning Notice in relation to its activities with the Woodford Equity Income fund hopefully indicates that the investigation is now moving towards its final phases.

The draft notice informs Link that a penalty of £50m is proposed for its failings in the oversight and operation of the fund and now gives Link the opportunity to respond in the next 14 days. This figure is in addition to the potential £306m that was indicated last week for redress to investors in respect of Link’s failing to properly manage the liquidity of the Woodford Equity Income fund.

 The FCA’s statement makes it clear that this notification is not a final decision and Link have the opportunity to respond and challenge the FCA’s findings so there may be further detail to come. It’s also clear that further investigations are continuing with the FCA noting that multiple parties remain under investigation as it continues to look at any failings which may have negatively impacted investors.

 With this news coming so soon after the potential £306m redress announcement, investors impacted by the Woodford Equity Income fund saga will be increasingly hopeful that this sorry episode is getting closer to completion. After three long years, investors have waited patiently for the FCA to unearth what went wrong and hopefully put in place some form of compensation for investors. It now seems like they might finally be getting somewhere.

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