Court of Appeal to determine Mark Wright’s Judicial Review

Rahman Lowe Solicitors are acting for Mark Wright in what appears to be the first case of its kind before the Court of Appeal concerning the regulatory regime under Part 1A of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, the investigation of complaints under Part 6 of the Financial Services Act 2012, and the respective functions and duties of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Complaints Commissioner.

Mr Wright, a former employee of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) raised serious concerns about the Complaint Commissioner’s failure to hold the FCA to account for market abuse issues. Mr Wright claims that the FCA has been complicit in a long-running cover-up of market abuse by former Royal Bank of Scotland executives that wiped out billions of pounds of employees’ savings.

In the course of his role as a manager, Mr Wright and other managers were requested in or around September 2008 to read a statement that was prepared by RBS on its intranet to staff, colleagues and customers, thereby inadvertently misleading them as to the financial strength of RBS at that time and encouraging them to retain their shares in the Group, and to leave their money in the bank, preventing a run. Staff, customers, and shareholders who had listened to the advice to retain their shares and investments, had seen the value of their shares subsequently drop by 90%.

Mr Wright then blew the whistle about RBS Directors misleading staff and shareholders during his employment at RBS. He also reported his concerns to the FCA. The Defendants allege that the intranet statement had never been made and was a figment of Mr Wright’s imagination.

As a result of his whistleblowing, Mr Wright was put under immense pressure at work by RBS, which had a detrimental impact on his mental health. He was then forced to take redundancy in July 2013.

Mr Wright subsequently complained to the Complaints Commissioner about the FCA’s findings, which were dismissed on 7 October 2020.

An application for judicial review was submitted on 6 January 2021. Mr Timothy Mould QC, sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge, [2021] EWHC 1883 (Admin) dated 23 June 2021, refused permission for judicial review of the decision of the Complaints Commissioner.

On 29 June 2021, Rahman Lowe  lodged an appeal with the Court of Appeal on the grounds that:

  • The Judge erred in deciding that the Complaints Commissioner had properly discharged his functions under Part 6 of the Financial Services Act 2012 and the Complaints Scheme;
  • The Judge erred in ruling that the Complaints Commissioner had given the requisite level of scrutiny to the Appellant’s complaints;
  • The Judge erred in ruling that the Complaints Commissioner had fully dealt with and resolved the principal issues;
  • The Judge erred in ruling that the Complaints Commissioner’s decision on certain aspects was lawful or adequately reasoned;
  • The Complaints Commissioner has not properly investigated the RBS intranet statement and related matters;
  • There was substantial evidence that the Financial Conduct Authority had misled Mr Wright, Sir Norman Lamb MP and the Commissioner;
  • The FCA had purposively given incorrect information regarding the statement;

The case is of considerable public interest as we are holding the FCA and the Complaints Commissioner to account. Mr Wright’s appeal also raises the importance of regulators acting impartially when investigating complaints so as to ensure that the public are not exposed to market abuse.

It is only with your support that Mr Wright can continue to hold the Complaints Commissioner and FCA to account. He is fundraising for fees using Crowd Justice. If you would like to make a donation to his campaign, you can do so here.