Victim of LCF scandal calls Bank of England Governor appointment a ‘travesty’

Victim of LCF scandal calls Bank of England Governor appointment a 'travesty'
Amanda Cunningham

Amanda Cunningham, who is a full-time carer for her autistic son, Jack, lost more than £22,500 when Eridge-based London Capital and Finance [LCF] collapsed last January.

Along with more than 11,500 other investors, who in total lost more than £237million, Ms Cunningham has just been told by the Financial Services Compenstion Scheme [FSCS] they ‘will not be eligible for compensation’.

The FSCS have said that because investors were given ‘incorrect information’ not ‘misleading information’, they do not qualify.

LCF was founded by former Tunbridge Wells Conservative Party Chairman Simon Hume-Kendall, who later went on to sell the business but remained one of its largest borrowers.

According to the High Court, Hume-Kendall pocketed more than £8million from LCF just before the firm went under.

The collapse of LCF, which is the subject of Serious Fraud Office investigation, occurred when the Financial Conduct Authority [FCA] froze the company’s assets after it was found to be mis-selling mini-bonds.

However, the FCA has been accused of being too slow to act after it emerged LCF’s business practices were first brought to the watchdog’s attention as early as 2015.

The Chairman of the FCA at the time was Andrew Bailey, who was named just before Christmas by Chancellor Sajid Javid as the next Governor of the Bank of England, to replace Mark Carney when he steps down in March.

Ms Cunningham has joined a number of calls opposing Mr Bailey’s appointment, including Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, who last week accused the FCA boss of being ‘asleep at the wheel’ during both the collapse of LCF and the winding down of the Woodford Equity Fund – which wiped out £36million of Kent County Council’s pension fund last year.

Ms Cunningham told the Times: “I think it’s a total travesty that Andrew Bailey has been chosen, or was even given the job, following the gross regulatory failure by the FCA, all while he was in office.

“It brings into question his capabilities for such an important role for our country. In my opinion, the buck stops with him as leader of the FCA, which under his reign failed to put preventative measures in place to stop LCF in its tracks.”

She added: “There were historical red flags which were repeatedly ignored. The guy does not deserve the job, plain and simple, and should be held accountable for what happened to unsuspecting members of the public, for whom he has shown very little sympathy or consideration.”

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