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Letter to the editor: The hidden costs of regulation

In response to Peter Hamilton’s column, MM 25/07/2013.

While I agree with much of what you say about a lack of transparency in recruiting and “jobs for the boys” (and girls), I feel the need to raise a recurring issue concerning the overlap within the legal profession and party politics.
As you will know, a certain Harriet Harman; once solicitor general and I believe a QC has much to say on matters regulatory. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard the words “we need a completely independent regulator” come from her lips. Freedom of the press, financial services, you name it – it needs an independent regulator.
As a legal mind and a politician, she clearly feels that we cannot trust our elected officials not to unduly influence Government departments charged with regulatory matters, and at the same time feels unelected ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ drawn almost exclusively from her own profession, should rule over our lives.

Is our elected parliament so despicable that we cannot trust them to regulate? If so, we can always vote them out. We do not have that luxury with an ‘independent regulator’.

I became a financial adviser in 1985 and since that time my profession seems to have attracted a huge regulatory leach, which spends a great deal of time richly feathering the nests of ex-city lawyers and accountants. These costs are passed on to the public as a hidden tax. Clearly they know a good thing when they see it! What about those they are meant to protect, but form whose ranks they never recruit and whom cannot get shot of them at the ballot box. The whole thing stinks.

Robert Ayley

Professional Solutions Group




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There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Firstly, the FCA isn’t independent of the government and no longer even claims on its website to be, as did its predecessor. It’s a government body funded by the private sector, as is the MAS. If we don’t pay our taxes, HMRC comes after us with the threat of imprisonment. If we don’t pay our regulatory levies, the FCA comes after us with the threat of cancelling our authorisation to trade and make a living.

    Secondly, as I’ve written many times before, what’s really needed, and with ever-increasing urgency, is an independent regulator of the regulator, with the unassailable authority to put a stop to its self-serving excesses and wanton abuses of power. So far, no one has posted any counter-argument to this proposal but sadly no one seems to be championing it either, least of all APFA. Shouldn’t the PFS, the networks and the TSC all be stepping up to the plate?

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