Last year CEO of the Financial Conduct Authority Andrew Bailey admitted, under pressure, that in January he had held a meeting with Saudi national oil company Saudi Aramco “and their advisers”.
The meeting culminated in the FCA announcing that they were going to relax the rules surrounding the listing of a company controlled by a sovereign country (Saudi Arabia). At a subsequent Treasury Select Committee hearing Bailey told the committee that he had no idea whether Theresa May had also held any discussions with Saudi Aramco, despite it having been widely reported that she went to Saudi Arabia in April and held meetings with them, and despite Bailey having been told about these meetings by the Treasury in March.
Bailey also told the TSC:
Bailey’s official record of meetings does not mention the meeting on 27 January:
So I made a Freedom of Information Request to the FCA for details of the meeting and received this response:
Note the redaction under s40, which relates to “Personal Information”
So the FCA were prepared to reveal the meeting was with Saudi Aramco (they could hardly deny it by now), but not who their advisers are. I am certain their advisers are HSBC, who the FCA are supposed to be investigating in a number of matters, particularly the fraud revealed on this website. One reason I believe the advisers were HSBC is because HSBC were already advising Aramco on bond issues
Just after May’s visit to Saudi Arabia, it was announced that HSBC were officially advisers to Saudi Aramco
In another attempt to ascertain whether HSBC were the advisers at the meeting in January I made a further FoIA request to the FCA asking for details of the visitors log. After much procrastination the FCA supplied a heavily redacted spreadsheet of visits on that day. It will be seen that other than Andrew Bailey, the persons and/or companies visiting him (far left column) has been redacted this time under s43 of the Freedom of Information Act, which states:
This means that since he has already publicly revealed that Saudi Aramco was one party at the meeting, if the other party was HSBC it is being covered up by the FCA. You cannot claim client confidentiality and name Saudi Aramco but not HSBC, unless, of course you are corrupt.