May 20, 2014

Is it ok for a regulator, like EBA, to withhold information from “experienced investors”?

Sir, in previous letters to you, here and here I have expressed concern about what would be the legal responsibility of bank regulators, towards any coco-bond investors, if they withheld important information with respect to the possibilities of those bonds being converted into bank equity.

And now Sam Fleming and Martin Arnold report that the European Banking Authority, EBA, is also expressing some concerns on this issue, “European regulators seek to limit retail sales of bank credit”, May 20 (though not in the US FT issue).

But something is not clear… after the article refers to several reservations about these cocos being sold to retail clients, it informs that “Britain´s regulator, the Financial Conduct authority, has said it plans to consult on new rules to ensure cocos are only marketed to experienced investors”

Would that imply that a regulator can withhold important information from “experienced investors”? If so, just in case, for the record, I have no knowledge about investments whatsoever.