On Tuesday 31 October I attended the hearing held by the Treasury Select Committee with the Financial Conduct Authority. I wished to bring attention to the corruption surrounding HSBC dealing with Saudi Arabia and the proposed flotation of its state oil company Saudi Aramco. I was, of course, thrown out. Following my (censored) intervention, MP Alison MsGovern asked the CEO of the FCA, Andrew Bailey the question above.
Below is an extract from a Daily Telegraph article about May’s meeting. It is common knowledge that May had had such discussions in Saudi Arabia. What is Bailey trying to hide?
Considering Bailey had a meeting himself with Saudi Aramco in January, it is inconceivable that he didn’t know about May’s meeting in April.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request the FCA declined to tell me who was at the meeting on 27 January:
Given that 10 days after that meeting it was announced that HSBC were already advising Aramco on bond issues it is inconceivable that HSBC were not at the meeting with the FCA. This means effectively that the FCA were lobbying a Saudi company on HSBC’s behalf.
Following the meetings with Bailey and May it was announced (24 April) that HSBC had been appointed advisers on the IPO
In July it was announced that the FCA intended to relax the listing rules to enable the Aramco IPO to take place in London
Since writing this blog I have had an exchange of correspondence with Andrew Bailey:
The most recent development is that the British government has offered a £2bn loan guarantee to Saudi Aramco. This is from the Financial Times, accompanied by advert from HSBC about how to to do business in the Middle East.