UK's FCA in touch with Jersey watchdog over Woodford's future business plans

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(Reuters) - Britain's financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), said on Tuesday it was in touch with Jersey's financial services watchdog after reports that veteran investor Neil Woodford's future business proposal may operate out of Jersey.

The FCA is currently investigating the events that led to the suspension of the LF Woodford Equity Income Fund, which collapsed in 2019, prompting an outcry from investors.

"There are reports that Mr Woodford's future business proposal may operate out of Jersey," Mark Steward, FCA's director of enforcement and market oversight, said in a statement.

"We are in contact with the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) and agreed with them that we will both share information on any application made in our respective jurisdictions (for both a fund or entity)," Steward said.

A spokesman for Woodford declined to comment on the FCA's remarks when contacted by Reuters late on Tuesday.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph newspaper on Saturday, Woodford said he was preparing to launch a new investment firm, Woodford Capital Management Partners.

The newspaper said that WCM Partners would be based in Jersey.

The new business would need to apply for "appropriate permissions" before commencing any regulated activity in the United Kingdom, Steward said.

The FCA director added that the watchdog's investigation into the veteran investor's equity income fund was progressing. Woodford was criticized for holding a large number of illiquid assets in the fund.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Richard Pullin)