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Does Wheatley exit mean return to ‘business as usual’ for banks?


George Osborne has failed to end fears of a softened approach to the banking sector following the announcement of Martin Wheatley’s departure from the FCA, according to Treasury Committee member and Labour MP John Mann.

Osborne appeared in front of the committee on Tuesday and, pressed on Wheatley’s exit, denied that he had “sacked” the FCA boss.

He said: “I chose not to renew Mr Wheatley’s contract so I don’t accept the way you describe it, and I think he did a very good job in difficult circumstances, with the creation of this new consumer regulator.

“But for the FCA going forward, my judgement is that we can find new leadership to strengthen that institution so it is a powerful consumer champion.”

However, Mann says the Chancellor failed to answer his concerns about Wheatley’s exit.

He says: “I wasn’t reassured by what the Chancellor said to the Committee regarding the removal of Martin Wheatley.

“Actions speak louder than words and by sacking Mr Wheatley the Chancellor has signalled to the biggest banks that it’s back to business as usual.”

Mann has previously accused the Chancellor of being a “ten bob bully” in ending Wheatley’s tenure at the regulator.

In a statement issued no 17 July, when his departure was announced, Wheatley said: “George Osborne has sacked the regulator who fined the banks who broke laws and yet not one banker has been held accountable before the courts for their repeated wrong doing.”



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There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Julian Stevens 23rd July 2015 at 4:38 pm

    I think it highly unlikely that there’ll be any softening of bank regulation. Firstly, the more the FCA has investigated them, the more malpractice it’s exposed and secondly, those hefty fines are helping the Treasury to pay down the deficit. On whatever basis would the Treasury sanction softer regulation?

  2. Its not constructive regulation if the big banks are seriously looking to mover their operations abroad
    How do you justify the FCA visiting a bank over 180 times in a year ? if this much supervision is needed you either reduce trade or take away the authority ?

    IMHO if you are visiting a company this many times in a year you are not giving them space to put things right, you are bulling and seeking to phish for more, this type of gross intimidation is not right and goes way beyond what I would call regulation.

    Please don’t get me wrong banks and bankers have a hell of a lot to answer for but I think the FCA’s approach in a lot of instances (and not only to banks) has been, and may continue to be disgraceful.

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