Treasury select committee member Andy Love has called for the Financial Conduct Authority to be given a primary objective to foster diversity and promote mutuals.
Speaking at a fringe event at the Labour party conference in Liverpool this week, Love said the move would be in line with the coalition agreement which commits the Government to “fostering diversity and promoting mutuals” in financial services.
He said: “I believe one of the objectives for the regulator should be fostering diversity. It should be up there along with competition and delivering secure and stable markets as one of the primary objectives. That checks in with the coalition agreement and I do not see why we should not push that as hard as we can.
“I would also hope that a government department is given specific responsibility for mutuals and diversity and that there is a recognition that the Government has to foster the growth of mutuals.”
A report by the all-party Parliamentary group for building societies and financial mutuals, published in July, called on the Government to lay out a plan on how it intends to deliver on the coalition agreement’s pledge.
The APPG’s joint-chair Labour MP Cathy Jamieson says the Government has a year to move beyond rhetoric and take action to convince people it is taking the pledge seriously.
Speaking to Money Marketing at the conference, she says: “I would say it has 12 months to save the pledge. So far we have had the warm words but the real measure of whether this is successful is what happens in the next 12 months. Is the Government going to move beyond just saying it promotes mutuals?”