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FSA releases McCarthy letter

The FSA has finally published the notorious letter of complaint from Callum McCarthy to Tony Blair, revealing the full fury of the FSA chairman against the Prime Minister.

The letter, revealed under the Freedom of Information Act, attacks the “sweeping accusation” made by Blair in May 2005 – revealed exclusively by Money Marketing – that the FSA was seen as “hugely inhibiting of efficient business by perfectly respectable companies that have never defrauded anyone”.

It shows McCarthy rejected the Government’s excuse that the comments were taken out of context. He describes Blair’s remarks both as “perplexing and frustrating”.

In publishing the letter, the FSA says it edited out two sentences that may prejudice the ability of the regulator to have “open and candid exchanges of information and views” with overseas regulators and the firms they regulate.

The initial freedom of information request was submitted in June 2005, with the letter published this week without further prompting.

McCarthy’s letter says: “It is damaging to our influence and our ability to support the principles of better regulation to be described in the way that has occurred, hence any anxiety to establish whether there is in fact any evidence to support a claim which appears unfounded.”

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