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More transparency around investment risk needed, FCA's Bailey says

The head of the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has called for more transparency in the risks related to nonbanking investments, to ensure people receive "clear meaningful" disclosures when making investment decisions.

In his Mansion House speech on Oct. 24, Andrew Bailey said the FCA is keen to foster an environment where risk taking takes place, and noted that investment is "inherently risky" as asset values have the potential to decline.

But, he said, the issue of when a regulator should intervene has become more acute because there has been a major shift in risk-taking away from banks toward nonbanks over the past 10 years.

Therefore, the regulator wants to see "more transparency in the risks of non-bank investment so that investors get useful information." Bailey said there should be reform to the rules known as Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities, or UCITS, and that sometimes the FCA will impose limits or bans on certain investments.

Bailey's comments come following the closure of British fund manager Neil Woodford's flagship £3.7 billion LF Woodford Equity Income Fund and investment management firm Woodford Investment Management Ltd. The fund was shut after a high level of redemption requests.

In June, Bailey warned that the FCA was considering revising regulations related to the investment fund market. He also said far-reaching measures would need to be implemented at an EU level in relation to UCITS.