§ 30. Mr. Michael
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what progress has been made towards 261W obtaining reimbursement for those affected by the British-based and Gibraltar-based elements of the Barlow Clowes organisation; what initiatives have been taken by his Department in the last six months; what initiatives he will now take to seek a speedier resolution of outstanding problems; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Newton
On the matter of reimbursement for investors in Barlow Clowes, I understand that an interim payment of 75p in the pound was made to a minority of investors in the United Kingdom fund (Barlow Clowes Gilt Managers) before Christmas. The remaining investors in the United Kingdom fund received an interim payment of 25p in the pound in January. The position for investors in the Gibraltar fund (Barlow Clowes International) is not as promising but I understand that the liquidators hope to make a small interim payment to those investors as soon as possible this year.
Developments have also been taking place on the roles played by some of the other parties involved in this case. My right hon. and noble Friend has invited a number of regulatory bodies to examine Sir Godfray Le Quesne's report and see whether there were matters for them to consider. The Financial Intermediaries, Managers and Brokers' Regulatory Association has undertaken its own investigations and recommended that disciplinary action be taken against 19 of its members involved with the case, of which three have been suspended. Those suspended are the Investments and Pensions Advisory Service Ltd. and D. C. Wilson and Gordon Pettie Advisory Services. The Investments and Pensions Advisory Service is in liquidation following a winding up petition by the Securities and Investments board and D. C. Wilson has gone into voluntary liquidation.
On 4 January the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales announced that a committee of inquiry was being set up under the joint disciplinary scheme to look into the role of the auditors involved in this case.
The Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration is looking into complaints that he has received about the handling of the Barlow Clowes case by my Department. The timing of the Commissioner's work is a matter for him, but my Department is co-operating with him and we shall consider carefully any report that he may make.