January 30, 2015

FCA fines firm for sponsor breaches

ENCL, part of the Portuguese group Banco Espirito Santo de Investimento, failed to tell the FCA’s UK Listing Authority (UKLA) that two thirds of its sponsor team had left between June and November 2013, and continued to market itself as a competent sponsor throughout this period.

This is the first use of the FCA’s power to fine sponsors, introduced in 2013.

Sponsors perform a dual role which involves providing expert advice and guidance to current and prospective premium listed companies and providing regulatory assurances to the FCA, designed to protect investors.

Georgina Philippou, acting FCA director of Enforcement & Market Oversight said: “Sponsors perform a critical role in maintaining the integrity of the premium listed equity market by providing expert guidance on the listing rules and key regulatory assurances to the FCA.

“It is vital that the regulator, issuers and investors have confidence in sponsors; and we rely on them having an open and co-operative relationship with us.

“All sponsors should take note of the consequences if they fail to notify us of material information on time.”

The UKLA sought clarification from ENCL on their staffing situation following reports in November 2013 claiming that an individual responsible for leading and executing sponsor services had joined another firm. The UKLA was then informed of the other departures.

ENCL’s sponsor approval was formally suspended in December 2013 at its request.

Royds’ Corporate and Commercial team can advise on a range of regulatory and compliance issues. For more information about the services we provide please visit or contact John North or Claus Andersen.

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