Articles - Reaction to the 'Journey to the FCA' paper

 Following today’s launch of the Financial Services Authority’s (FSA) paper Journey to the FCA, below are comments from David Thomson, director of policy and public affairs at the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), Guy Sears, IMA Director of Wholesale and Maggie Craig, Director of Financial Conduct Regulation at the ABI.

 David Thomson, director of policy and public affairs at the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), comments:

 “There is no doubt that the new FCA will be a tough, pre-emptive and interventionist regulator. The challenge will be for the FCA to regulate in a way that promotes and produces better outcomes for the public rather than just increasing the complexity of regulation for the industry. We welcome the new regulator’s emphasis on placing culture and behaviour at the heart of the new regulatory approach. As the leading professional body in this sector, the CII has been calling for some time for the regulatory system to take greater account of the behaviour of firms as well as individuals. We look forward to seeing how the FCA will not only identify and punish poor and unethical behaviour but also encourage firms’ intentions to go beyond mere compliance with initiatives like the CII’s Corporate Chartered title and Aldermanbury Declaration initiatives, which aspire to promote higher standards to the public.

 “But the proof will be in how this is exercised, and whether the ends for the public will justify what may appear to some as draconian means. The FCA must develop its approach flexibly to take into account other sectors than banking – and have a proper risk-based approach based on measures that reflect the public interest."

 Guy Sears, IMA Director of Wholesale said:

 "The Journey document is very encouraging, rightly focusing on outcomes for investors. We appreciate the commitment to greater engagement and more developed interaction with both the industry and consumers. The real test will come in retaining and developing a high calibre workforce to effectively fulfil these objectives."

 Maggie Craig, Director of Financial Conduct Regulation at the ABI said:

 "The FCA's approach to regulation must be about improving consumer outcomes. Its report rightly recognises the importance of promoting competition in the interest of consumers, and better understanding their needs, as well as the firms and markets it will regulate. The report builds on insurers' work to embed the principles of Treating Customers Fairly and we look forward to working in partnership with the regulator to take this further.

 "Regulation must not be developed in isolation from public policy objectives. It is vital that the FCA's work supports wider initiatives, such as getting an ageing population saving for retirement, reforming long term care funding and improving consumer access to financial products that meet their needs.

 "The ability of the FCA to play a role in debates on regulation in Europe is now increasingly important, so we welcome its commitment to influence European policymaking."

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