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Fidelity chief attacks “overly bureaucratic and intrusive” FSA

Fidelity International’s European chief executive Robert Higginbotham has warned the FSA’s “overly bureaucratic and intrusive” regulation is damaging UK competitiveness.

His comments were made as part of a new CBI report in which business leaders call on the Government to address a series of barriers to investment in the UK.

In Making the UK the best place to invest, published today, the CBI warns that without action investment and jobs will be lost to other countries.

It suggests a number of measures including removing the 50p tax rate as soon as public finances allow, setting a long term objective of cutting corporation tax to 18 per cent and creating a planning and regulatory system that encourages growth.

Higginbotham says: “Business opportunities and jobs are moving abroad and the Government must look carefully at why this is the case. A key issue is the overly bureaucratic and intrusive regulation by the FSA.

“This may be appropriate for a failed bank, but it is wholly inappropriate and disproportionate for an agency business such as ours. The new executive of the FCA must pay attention to international competitiveness. This is not an invitation for weak regulation but for carefully considered and appropriate regulation.”

CBI director general John Cridland says: “With competition for international capital so fierce, the Government must play up our strengths and remove the stumbling blocks to investment. Time isn’t on our side and we have less than five years to turn things around.”


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There are 10 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. He’s absolutely right. It’s so refreshing to see a senior person with a financial institution speaking out against the FSA rather than rolling over in their usual submissive manner.

    Weel done!

  2. Here, here, to the first comment!

  3. This is all part and parcel of the FSA and Government trying to create a “risk free” society by using extreme forms of regulation.

    The FSA over-react often well after the event and so we continue to be limited to succeed and you certainly can’t blame others for not wanting to invest in the UK with such draconian regulation and higher and higher taxes.

    High taxes do not encourage growth and the amount of “indirect taxes” we now pay are far more than many realize.

    Sadly the majority of those who have put us into this situation have suffered little and some have walked away as if they have done nothing wrong.

  4. Yes, we all know the FSA is overly bureaucratic and foists much of that excessive bureaucracy onto the industry with highly questionable benefits as a result. Intrusiveness, if it identifies and puts a stop to manifestly bad practices at an early stage (rather by hindsight, after much of the damage has been done), is hard to argue with.

    However, what Mr Higginbotham and others should be talking about is what’s to be done about it, because merely shouting in the woods and firing off a few shots into the air isn’t going to make any difference, is it?

    Again (sorry to mention it yet again), what is needed are meaningful moves to establish an Independent Regulatory Oversight Committee with the core remit of forcing the FSA to adhere both to the letter and to the spirit of the Statutory Code of Practice For Regulators. The framework is there and, being statutory, it’s (supposed to be) the Law. How can the FSA be allowed to continue to accord itself a unilateral opt-out from the Code, setting its own agenda and budget more or less without reference to any other body? AIFA ~ what’s your position on the Code (or, rather, on the fact that the FSA completely ignores it)?

  5. But of course Robert the FSA is part of a process tasked with the removal of the “Great” from Great Britan! I dare say there was an FSA playing a similar part in every major collapse since the begining of structured society!

  6. Since its inception under the FSA we have languished under the ever increasing bureauocracy of the FSA and other quangos.

    Is it and should it not be that this age of the dinosaurs is ending and we are returning to sensible entrepreneurial development of business for the good of the nation?

  7. Indirect taxes often match or even exceed upfront taxes. Time we had more transparency from regulators as to what it actually costs to do business in the uk. Now then where did I put my passport?

  8. Mr Higginbotham – you don’t really expect the FSA to listen to you – do you?

  9. By ‘a return to the sensible entrepreneurial development of business’, is Stanley Holmes (above) referring to all those erstwhile jumped up ‘barrow boys’ who masqueraded as Sales Managers, Business Development Directors and IFAs in the 80s and 90s, who caused massive damage to the reputation of our industry? Where are they now? Crawling back out from under their stones ‘for the good of the nation’?

  10. Whistleblower why hide behind annonimity – of course no one wishes to see the characters he refers to .

    But let good business men prevail for the good of the public and the nation’s economy.

    This whole financial industry requires pragmatic leaders not bureaucrats.

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