Labour is pushing for the Financial Conduct Authority to be required to publish minutes of its board meetings after the Government said it would leave the decision down to the regulator.
In November, FSA chairman Lord Turner suggested to the Treasury select committee that he would be “quite favourable” towards the idea of the minutes being published as long as the rule was not introduced retrospectively.
However, in guidance published alongside the financial services bill earlier this month, the Government confirmed it would not be putting the requirement on the face of the bill. It said the decision was “in the first instance, a matter for the FCA board.
Now, shadow Treasury financial secretary Chris Leslie and shadow Treasury economic secretary Cathy Jamieson have placed an amendment to the bill which would make publication a duty.
Leslie says: “I found the logic of having these minutes out in the open so compelling that I think it should be a requirement on the regulator to publish them. It will make it that much easier to pin the board down on their thinking if the minutes are available for all to see. In a crisis scenario obviously a truncated version of minutes would be understandable, but just saying you trust that the board will publish in full in normal times is not enough.”
The amendment says: “The FCA shall make arrangements to publish, unless publication would be inappropriate, the agendas and minutes of the meetings of its committees and sub-committees. When a meeting of any committee or sub-committee of the FCA makes a decision upon any matter of public policy, the minutes of the meeting or meetings that result in that decision shall summarise the consideration which were taken into account, both for and against the decision.”
The amendment will be considered in the bill’s committee stage which started last week and will run until March 22.