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McCarthy plays down effects of his departure

Sir Callum McCarthy says his departure this year from the FSA will not herald a change in policy direction from the regulator.

Speaking last week at the Cass Business School in London, the FSA chairman said that a change in senior personnel would once have caused uncertainty in the industry but not any more.

McCarthy said: “When I step down as FSA chairman in September, it will mean that one member of a board of 14 will change. I do not expect the FSA’s policies or principles to change.

“This is very different from a world of individual regulators, when individual characteristics were ana-lysed and exaggerated, with all the uncertainty this cau-sed when one regulator was succeeded by another.”

Addressing the relationship between the FSA and the Government, McCarthy considered that there is a regret among politicians that many important dec-isions are no longer theirs to make. He said that he believed this factor has influenced some recent criticism of the regulator.

McCarthy said that an independent regulatory organisation is correctly thought to be less suscep-tible to political influence than a Government department. He said: “It is this perception which lies behind the allocation of various standard setting and standard judging responsibilities to independent regu- lators rather than to Government departments.”

McCarthy added that some activities of regulatory organisations dealwith problems that are too highly charged for politicians to want to handle.

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