View more on these topics

Martin Wheatley: I regret saying ‘shoot first ask questions later’

FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley says he regrets using the phrase “shoot first ask questions later” to describe the regulator’s approach.

During a grilling from the Treasury select committee this morning on the Davis review of the FCA’s bungled media announcement on closed book policies, Wheatley argued the phrase had been “taken out of context”.

Wheatley famously made the comment in 2012 when describing the FCA’s new powers, such as publishing warning notices at an earlier stage and the power to ban risky products from being sold.

He said: “The key difference between the future and now, and forgive me for being scary in my use of analogy, is we are being given the power to shoot first and ask questions later.”

TSC chair Andrew Tyrie asked Wheatley whether there was anything to connect the closed book review debacle with the regulator’s “shoot first and ask questions later” approach.

Wheatley said: “We do not have a culture of shoot first ask questions later and that is not our supervisory approach.

“I regret using that phrase and it was used in response to a question about how the FCA’s early intervention powers would be used. It is a phrase that has been taken out of context and used too broadly.

“What I do not regret is that we have tried to be a regulator which is more on the front foot.”

Wheatley later admitted that in the “very early days” of it being established the FCA may have been too aggressive in its communications.

He said: “That is because we were a new regulator and we were trying to establish with the industry what we stood for.”

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

There are 14 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. As ever, context is everything. Well done Mr Wheatley for being honest about this.

  2. A regulator who is more on the front foot? This is the same regulator who approved Ron Flowers. This is the same regulator who made an ill conceived announcement about the review into the closed book and wiped millions off he price of shares. Then spent millions of pounds of other people’s money just to end up paying off the main culprit.This is the same regulator who did not foresee the advice gap despite many warnings. This is the same regulator who defended the definitions of Independent and restricted until it became absolutely obvious that these definitions were just plain stupid.
    I think that Wheatley’s declared policy of shooting first and asking questions later has resulted in him shooting himself in the front foot which accounts for so many problems.
    The FCA should be made properly accountable, it will not solve all the problems but it will make them think twice about some of the stupid things they do.

  3. He said: ”That is because we were a new regulator and we were trying to establish with the industry what we stood for.”

    Is this guy for real? Are the people in Canary Wharf so arrogant or stupid to expect us all to swallow this drivel? It is laughable. Simply not fit for purpose.

  4. As the mendacious politicos say “I mis-spoke”.

  5. A Freudian slip?

  6. Shoot fish more like…

  7. Power without accountability does not work.
    Going to a treasury committee to answer a few questions is not accountability.
    The fca should be open to legal action if they are incompetent.

  8. “We do not have a culture of shoot first ask questions later and that is not our supervisory approach.”

    That is interesting because the FCA recently accused me of writing a letter that could prevent an event that had already happened before the letter was written.

    Those of you who have seen The Theory of Everything my realise that there is a theory that if you go faster than the speed of light you would arrive before you left. However, that is about 500 million miles per hour and my postie has a sticker on the back of his van that says “This vehicle is limited to 70 m.p.h.”

  9. E L Wisty (an only twin) 27th January 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Until La Wheatley comes clean about CF Arch cru, his sophistry will count for nothing.

  10. @ Dominic

    Yes context IS everything ! this is of course fact

    However MW knows this, which is why he probably has an army of PR minions to ensure any statements are not taken out of context, if so, why wait 2 years down the line to correct it ?

    Was Ms Rookes “ethical” statement taken out of context ? was Sants “be afraid” out of context ?

    These people have no excuse whatsoever, none !! unless they really mean what they say ? then present a thinly veiled attempt to back track and say “oh I didn’t really mean to say that” or “it was taken out of context”

    We have seen the mess these people create and how much it costs to put right,

    Any half arsed attempt by MW to correct this now, is insulting !

  11. Given his predecessor’s extremely ill-considered sound bite that we should all Be afraid, be very afraid, one might reasonably expect Mr Wheatley to have been considerably more circumspect in his choice of words. At least he’s confessed regret, though, for this particular gaffe.

  12. Andrew Tyrie: “Mr O’Brien, do you recall your earlier statement that “We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — for ever”?”

    O’Brien: “I regret using that phrase and it was used in response to a question about how the Ministry of Love’s early intervention powers are used. It is a phrase that has been taken out of context and used too broadly. What I do not regret is that we have tried to be a Ministry of Love which is more on the front foot.”

  13. Martin Wheatley Better than Sants But Worse Than Useless. Earn Salary Now Take Pension Later. Regulatory Rubbish!

  14. Can someone point out the difference between the FSA and the FCA, apart from the “C”?

    Same people, same premises, same rule book, same bulls*t

Leave a comment