The move follows growing concern about plans to return to the investment market by Mr Woodford whose firm, Woodford Investment Management, collapsed two years ago leaving many investors nursing large losses.
In a rare late evening statement yesterday, FCA director of enforcement and market oversight Mark Steward said the FCA would work with the Jersey Financial Services Commission on Mr Woodford’s plans.
Mr Woodford said in a newspaper interview recently that he planned to launch a new institutionally-focused investment firm, WCM Partners Ltd, from Jersey. In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Mr Woodford said he believed the closure of his funds was premature and he remains angry that he was not given the chance to turn round two years of what he called underperformance.
Mr Steward said the FCA had contacted the JFSC and would share information on any application made by Mr Woodford.
In the statement, Mr Steward said: “Mr Woodford’s new business, WCM Partners Ltd, would need to apply for appropriate permissions before commencing any regulated activity in the UK.
“In taking any decision on whether to authorise a firm, we consider whether it is ready, willing and organised to comply, on a continuing basis, with our requirements and standards. That includes, for example, the sustainability of the firm’s business model and the fitness of its management.”
Mr Steward also confirmed that the FCA investigation into the collapse of Woodford Investment Management was continuing.
He said: “The investigation is being appropriately resourced and is progressing, though there has been some impact on accessing certain documents and witnesses during the pandemic.
“It is important to note that any comment about the scope of this ongoing investigation is purely speculation; we have not confirmed who or what we are investigating, though it is public knowledge that there were a significant number of entities in the chain of operation of the fund.”
Meanwhile activist investors Gina Miller and Alan Miller, co-founders of the True and Fair Campaign, have contacted the Treasury Committee to express their concern about Mr Woodford’s plans.