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FCA crime head: Time for industry to ‘walk the walk’

The financial services industry must “walk the walk as well as talk the talk” in order to regain trust from consumers, according to the FCA. 

Speaking at a National Economic Research Associates enforcement seminar last night, FCA director of enforcement and financial crime Tracey McDermott said those working within financial services are not predisposed to bad behaviour.

But she argued that where firms place profits over ethics, “misconduct will flourish”.
 
She said: “Even after all these years since the start of the crisis, the reaction of certain individuals is to say, ’not my job guv – we aren’t regulators’.  As long as that attitude prevails on the trading floors and elsewhere at the frontline, as long as the industry believes the problems are created by the regulator or are there to be fixed by the regulator, then nothing will change.”
 
McDermott said the general public’s view is that misselling scandals are so common they are almost boring. Views such as that banks “behave like brutal muggers” to “victim customers” and have to be “frogmarched” into paying redress are “by no means unusual, but they are incredibly unhealthy”, she said.  
 
She added: “It is addressing this sentiment – society’s lack of trust in the industry – that represents the greatest challenge – both to the industry and its regulator. 
 
“Unless we see an extended period of firms walking the walk as well as talking the talk, trust will not be regained, and we will all – industry, regulators and most importantly consumers – be worse off as a result.  That is the challenge ahead of us, and one the FCA is committed to meeting.”

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Comments

There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. How about the FSA walking the walk instead of just saying totally unbelievable things such as “We don’t want to burden small IFA’s with compliance”?

  2. You must be exasperated.

  3. I see Ms McDermott has taken to her role like a duck to water. In no time at all she has mastered regulatory double speak.

    I think I might be able to translate.

    “Look guys my job is too difficult. We have a spotlight on us as many are beginning to think that our system of fines is nothing more than a stealth tax. Our policy of shouting about alleged miscreants – even if they have owned up and told us about things we have missed (a very bad habit that happens far too often – Key Data, Arch etc.) makes look as if we are doing a good job. In fact we privately realise we have done much to foster the current claims culture and money for nothing society.

    So please be good chaps and stop making those nasty profits. We expect all those working in financial services to make no more than is necessary to pay our fees and levies so that we can enjoy our juicy pay packets.

    That we are largely responsible for the lack in consumer confidence by our maladroit handling is entirely beside the point.”

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