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Broker in libel action after FSA dismisses claim

Stockbroker Collins Stewart says it will press ahead with its £240m libel claim against the Financial Times after the FSA cleared it and its parent Collins Stewart Tullett of market abuse allegations.

Last week, the FSA concluded its investigation into allegations made against Collins Stewart by former employee James Middleweek and says it will not be taking the matter further.

Middleweek, who was sacked by Collins Stewart last year, made the allegations in a dossier sent to the FSA. Collins Stewart is seeking damages from the FT over an article it published about the allegations.

The FT maintains that the document was within the public domain and an article on legal action by Middleweek against Collins Stewart fairly and accurately reflected its content. The FT says it rejects Collins Stewart&#39s special damages&#39 claim and hopes to have it struck out at a hearing to take place in November.

The FSA declines to comment, beyond saying the inv-estigation into Collins Stewart is now closed.

Collins Stewart chief executive Terry Smith says: “The FSA has made it clear the matter is now closed and the investigation has been concluded.”

FT editor Andrew Gowers says: “The FT, in its defence to Collins Stewart&#39s action, maintains the information contained in this public document was information which it was fully entitled to report in a responsible and balanced way. The FT was by no means alone in doing so.”


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