FCA closes investigation into car dealership group Lookers

Mark Raban

The Financial Conduct Authority has closed its investigation into Altrincham car dealership group Lookers.

It means the business can now release a £10.4m provision it had held in relation to possible action by the FCA

In June 2019 the FCA’s enforcement division announced it had launched a probe into the group’s sales processes between the period of January 1, 2016, to June 13, 2019.

The investigation led to a temporary delay in the reporting of interim and final results by the group.

But today Lookers said the FCA has advised the board of its decision to close the investigation regarding the possible mis-selling of regulated products, and associated issues relating to potential customer detriment during the period.

In closing the case, the FCA further advised the board that it does not intend to use its statutory powers to apply any sanction against the group as a result of the investigation.

However, the FCA made its concerns clear relating to the historic culture, systems and controls of the group, Lookers said.

The board said it fully accepts the FCA’s comments and is committed to continue the progress made to date in transforming both culture and the customer experience.

It added that the group continues to have “an open and cooperative relationship with the FCA Supervisory team”.

Having already invested in a major remediation plan, including new systems, controls and process improvements, the board said it remains fully committed to the group’s ongoing investment programme, driving the creation of the right culture, working towards an industry leading customer experience.

The group will now release the provision of £10.4m which was made in relation to any potential liabilities arising from the investigation.

Lookers chief executive, Mark Raban, said: “It is an important time for Lookers as we emerge from a difficult period dealing with both the challenges of our legacy issues and COVID.

“We are pleased that the FCA has decided to close its investigation and we can now look forward and continue to build our business for the benefit of our customers and other stakeholders.