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Incoming FCA chair involved in discredited film tax scheme

23/02/2018 Tristan Blythe, Group Editor

Charles Randell, the incoming chair of the UK’s regulator – the Financial Conduct Authorty (FCA), was involved with the now-discredited Ingenious film production tax schemes.

The news emerged as part of the Treasury Committee’s inquiry into the appointment. On Tuesday (20/02/2018) it published as evidence a letter, dated 16 January 2018, from Mr Randell to Sir Tom Scholar, permanent secretary to HM Treasury.

The Committee had asked whether the members of the panel that appointed Mr Randell had been aware that he had been a member of Ingenious Film Partners 2 LLP from 2006 to 2011. Mr Ranell wrote that he thought it would be “helpful to record in writing what I told the panel at interview.”

“I informed the panel that I had invested in a film production partnership promoted by my financial adviser in 2006, and that despite assurances from my adviser and the managers of the partnership that HMRC were content with the partnership arrangements, HMRC subsequently opened an inquiry into the partnership tax affairs,” Mr Randell wrote.

“I also explained that I had fully settled my tax affairs in relation to the partnership, by repaying as requested by HMRC an amount of tax relief originally granted by them. I also confirmed that I had withdrawn from the partnership. The amount repaid to HMRC, which was not discussed at the interview, was approximately £114,000 plus interest. Finally, I told the panel that I considered that my decision to invest in this partnership was an error of judgment which I regretted. I did not elaborate on this at the interview but I regret failing to independently investigate the assurances I received that HMRC were content with the partnership arrangements.”

He concludes by requesting that a copy of the letter is passed on to the chair of the Treasury Committee, Nicky Morgan MP.

This happened on 19 January 2018 and in a covering letter Sir Tom confirmed to Ms Morgan that members of the panel were aware of Mr Randell’s involvement. “The panel was content that Mr Randell had taken appropriate action, and concluded that this should not prevent him from being appointed to the roles of chair of the FCA and PSR,” he wrote.

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