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UK sets out objectives for new financial regulators

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  • UK sets out objectives for new financial regulators

UK - Hector Sants, chief executive of the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA), has outlined the progress made on the shift of City regulation to three new  regulators: the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), the Financial Policy Committee (FPC) and the Consumer Protection and Markets Authority (CPMA).
 
Sants said the PRA would be more focused on reducing the impact of firms failing than the FSA had been and less focused on reducing the probability of failure.

The PRA's statutory objective will be to ensure that, when financial institutions fail, it minimises the disruption to the financial system.
 
Sants said: "The FSA was in the past susceptible to accusations of 'tick box' regulation, and it is vitally important the PRA put itself beyond the risk of such criticism.

"The PRA will not be attempting to pursue a 'zero failure' regime. Persuading society that this is an acceptable goal will be a challenge."
 
In addition, Sants stressed the importance of the PRA's engagement with European bodies, recognising that most prudential policy implemented in the UK was now formulated at the European Union level.
 
As for the CPMA, he acknowledged there needed to be a debate on getting the right balance between consumer protection and consumer responsibility.

Sants said the CPMA would shift supervisory resources away from firm-specific inspection to industry-wide interventions, and be able to deploy resources flexibly to tackle issues and risks.
 
He said the shift from 'firm specific' to thematic industry-wide intervention would not be at the expense of maintaining a core inspection programme.
 
The CPMA's objective will be early and proactive intervention, a braver approach to enforcement and redress, and a willingness to improve the consumer experience, according to Sants.
 
He added that the CPMA would need to be given more powers of intervention and disclosure than the FSA currently had, and that it would need to move toward a more rules-based approach to consumer protection, rather than rely on market disciplines.

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