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Leslie looks at pushing for FCA legal accountability

Labour Shadow Treasury financial secretary Chris Leslie says he is considering whether to push for the Financial Conduct Authority and its staff to be more legally accountable.

Under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, the FSA cannot be sued unless it can be proved that it acted in bad faith, although judicial reviews can be used to challenge regulatory decisions.

The draft Financial Services Bill says the FCA will also only be subject to legal action if it acts in bad faith.

Speaking at the Tisa conference last week, Leslie said he is focused on improving Parliamentary accountability of the new regulators but that he is weighing up whether to also push for increased legal accountability.

He said: “I am not a lawyer, so I reserve my position but I am interested in hearing the arguments for and against it and I do not rule it out.”

Earlier this month, FSA chairman Lord Turner told the Treasury select committee that moves to make the regulators or their staff more legally accountable would place a cost burden on the industry for successful law suits and undermine judgement-based regulation.


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  1. Nothing will change unless or until it’s written in statute that the FCA will NOT enjoy the cosy immunity from prosecution under which the FSA has been permitted to operate. There can be no half measures.

    Perhaps, in the wake of David Cameron’s investigation into the role played by the FSA in the ArchCru debacle, such as doing damn-all about what it discovered as far back as 2008, he’ll finally review the reckless stupidity of having declared that the FCA, like the FSA before it, to be accountable only to its own board.

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