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Govt announces creation of international centre for financial regulation

Economic Secretary and City Minister Kitty Usher has announced a new International Centre for Financial Regulation, an independent, industry-led project which will officially launch at the end of the year.

Based in London, the ICFR will carry out and sponsor training and research into cutting-edge regulatory issues, support the development of new regulatory approaches and international standards and organise debates on the key regulatory issues facing industry practitioners and national regulators alike.

Standard and Poor’s executive managing director Barbara Ridpath will be chief executive officer.

Nearly 20 financial services firms and the City of London corporation banded together to raise more than £5m to support the ICFR’s establishment. The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills has also committed £2.5m to the project.

The ICFR was first proposed by the industry at a meeting of the Chancellor’s High-Level Group in 2006. Since the publication of Lord Currie’s prospectus for the ICFR in May 2007, its development has been led by an interim executive committee, chaired by Standard Chartered Bank chairman Mervyn Davies.

Usher says: “I welcome the strong support from across the City for the establishment of this new centre of excellence. As a world leader in financial services, it is important that Britain continues to be at the forefront of new developments in best practice in this sector.”

Davies says: “I am delighted that the ICFR will be established this year, with the support of such a wide range of companies and donors. The City recognised several years ago that we need an international body to promote cutting-edge training and research and recent events in financial markets underline this is the right time to launch. I am confident that Barbara Ridpath will make the ICFR a huge success.”

Ridpath says: “The need for independent, objective research, thought leadership and training in the field of optimal financial regulation is becoming ever more apparent. It is important to provide this in a way that addresses the concerns of all market participants throughout the world, so as to ensure continued, open and vibrant capital markets. I am delighted to have a role to play in forwarding the agenda of the ICFR.”

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