Regulations and Law

Comparison of Woodford Claims

The Investors Chronicle have published on 30 March 2021 a useful table comparing the 4 ongoing Woodford Claims: ShareSoc endorsed the Leigh Day Claim, in November 2020 on the basis of information available at that time. The table highlights that the Leigh Day claim and Harcus Parker claim are both against Link, both have funding and insurance, and similar numbers of claimants, but Leigh Day is only charging 30% versus 42% for Harcus Parker. RGL is only part funded and says on its ...

Restoring Trust, After It’s Long Been Lost

Failings The Government BEIS Department have published a white paper entitled “Restoring trust in audit and corporate governance”. It’s an acknowledgement that the trust of investors in directors who manage the companies they invest in has long ago been lost. And the trust in auditors that the accounts issued by companies are accurate and give a fair view of a company’s financial position has also been lost. There are few stock market investors who have not been affected by one or more scandals ...

Mail, 14 March 2021, SUPERMAN and #sharesocuk Support Shareholder Rights.

It is good news that The Mail on Sunday MailOnline is supporting shareholders and shareholders rights. I get quoted.... Cliff Weight, director of investor campaign group ShareSoc, says wealth platforms make it so difficult for customers to engage that they are 'disenfranchising individual shareholders'. He says: 'Most platforms don't even pass on information and if you want to vote the method offered is practically prehistoric. As a result they're throwing away millions of shareholder votes.' Weight believes platform Interactive Investor is better than most. Eight per cent ...

UK Listing Review – What’s It All About?

You may have noticed in the Chancellor’s Budget speech that he announced that the FCA will be consulting on Lord Hill’s review to encourage companies to list in the UK and on changes to the listing and prospectus rules. This article gives a summary and some comments on what is proposed. The reason for the review is given as a decline in the number of companies listed in the UK with many of those listed being “old economy” businesses. Too few world ...

Woodford says “I’m sorry” – I don’t accept apology. WoodfordPayBack time is here.

The Sunday Telegraph has run a puff piece of PR for Neil Woodford in which he says, “I am sorry”. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/02/13/exclusive-neil-woodford-launch-comeback-fund-says-sorry-did/ Well, I am sorry too. I don’t accept Neil Woodford’s apology. WoodfordPayBack time is here. Woodford says that Link were wrong to close his fund, which led to a fire sale of many of his investments. I do at least agree with him on this. It is a scandal that events occurred so that shares in illiquid assets had to be sold at ...

The Courage to Act, or Not

Some of us have plenty of time to read good books while under lockdown rules. Here’s one I have been reading. It’s a memoir by Ben Bernanke, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve under the title “The Courage to Act”. It covers the major worldwide financial crisis of 2007/8 created by the defaults in sub-prime mortgages. The book includes a very good section on how that came about and how packaging up such mortgages eventually led to a complete lack of ...

Latest Woodford Press Coverage

Woodford continues to attract much press coverage and we have set up a Forum page for our members so that all those who are interested can quickly see all the latest news and can also access previous articles. The Forum link is https://www.sharesoc.org/forums/topic/latest-news/ If you visit this topic you can subscribe so that you can get an email when there is an update and/or a comment. This is done by clicking the "Subscribe" link at the top of the topic page. Also, if ...

0.1% shorting notification adopted by FCA – mirrors EU

On 6 January 2021, the Treasury published the Short Selling (Notification Thresholds) Regulations 2021 No. 5  to amend the notification threshold under Article 5(2) of the Short Selling Regulation from 0.2% to 0.1% of the issued share capital of an issuer. This change will come into force on 1 February 2021. This means that from 1 February 2021 the notification threshold for issued share capital of a company that has shares admitted to trading on a UK trading venue (UK Regulated Market and UK ...

Seminar on Woodford Legal Case

Yesterday evening I attended a webinar hosted by ShareSoc on a proposed legal action over the substantial losses suffered by investors in the Woodford Equity Income Fund (WEIF). It was chaired by Mark Northway and Cliff Weight with other speakers being Boz Michaelowska from legal firm Leigh Day and David Ricketts. The latter is a financial journalist who has written a book entitled “When the Fund Stops” which covers the past events at the Woodford funds and which will be published ...

FRC Seminars, Lookers Results, Caparo Judgement and Autonomy Case

I attended two seminars organised by ShareSoc and UKSA with the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) yesterday (24/11/2020) and the day before. The first session was about the “ARGA transformation”, i.e. the steps being taken to improve the audits of companies and the reporting of accounts following the Kingman review two years ago. ARGA stands for Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority which will be the new name for the FRC. Before reporting on the meeting, it’s worth noting the latest example of how ...