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MPs hit out at strict FSA deadlines for information requests

Martin Wheatley
Martin Wheatley: Grilled by the banking commission

The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards has hit out at the strict deadlines imposed by the FSA on firms to send supplementary information to the regulator when requested.

Speaking to the PCBS this morning, FSA chairman Lord Adair Turner and FSA managing director Martin Wheatley were both grilled on the number of forms sent to firms by the regulator with strict conditions imposed upon them.

Cross-bench peer Lord Andrew Turnbull said: “The deadlines for data requests are getting shorter, firms are being asked for a very specific form which does not relate to how the firm collects its data and sometimes the purpose for the data being sought is not clear. Are you looking at how best to collect data and is there some check to ask whether you need this data and in this particular form?”

PCBS chair Andrew Tyrie hit out at a voluntary financial inclusion questionnaire sent to firms asking for data about staff on issues such as race, marital status and sexual orientation. Tyrie highlights one firm where the chief executive was pulled out of a major transaction because of “concern” about upsetting the regulator.

He said: “The chief executive considered the form along with his chairman at a pretty large finance house, who are very anxious to remain anonymous because they are concerned about the regulator. I just want you to think about the effect of sending a form like this because this has been happening over the last two years.”

Turner defended the regulator, claiming data collection is crucial to effective regulation through core reporting requirements and ad hoc requests for thematic reviews, enforcement action or a new supervisory programme.

He said: “If we are to add to our standard regulatory reporting then we would consult looking at the cost effectiveness of a change. Any changes going forward are quite likely to be driven by EU legislation, in terms of core reporting data.”

Wheatley said: “We will try to be proportionate and if we send out information requests we do not do it lightly as we know there is a cost to the industry in doing so.”


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There are 11 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Its the banks, have to protect the banks otherwise where will we get a job once our constituents kick us into touch? Gravy Train? It`s bloody big Gravy Tanker mate!

  2. “Turner defended the regulator, claiming data collection is crucial to effective regulation through core reporting requirements and ad hoc requests for thematic reviews, enforcement action or a new supervisory programme.”

    So exactly what relevance to regulatory issues are such things as race, marital status, sexual orientation

    Firms have enough to do to generate profits to pay for the costs of regulation without having to spend time putting together irrelevant personal information which has no bearing on conduct of business and what is more they are not authorised under the DPA to provide such information without the permission of the individuals concerned.

    He also said “If we are to add to our standard regulatory reporting then we would consult looking at the cost effectiveness of a change. ”

    This industry is being ruined and destroyed by an over enthusiastic regulator who seems to want to collate irrelevant data on all of us, which has no bearing on whether changes are effective or not.

    I would respectfully request that all such reporting be set aside as it adds nothing to the industry, consume protection or the lives of those who actually have to work to earn a living so these people can be paid their excessive salaries and fringe benefits and pensions.

    It makes me so mad to see people, who are allegedly intelligent coming out with such guff.

  3. The Charge of the Out of Touch Brigade 27th February 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Pretty typical – another day, another load of wiffle waffle at great expense to us all.
    Firstly I have no idea what the actual meaning or point being made is in the two penultimate paras quoting Turner. Overcomplication layered on top of pointlessness seems to be in vogue though.
    And for Wheatley to say “we dont do it lightly” is priceless. Id propose a journo makes a FOI request as to exactly how many times NEEDED to send something out to firms, but then decided not to for the reason he quotes. My guess is zero.
    And dont rely on the TSC or MPs in general, they generally tend to huff and puff a bit for career or image purposes but almost always achieve absolutely nothing; why dont journalists go after these people relentlessly rather than let them get away with this ???

  4. There is more chance of hell frozen over than me answering these questions about my staff
    if put on the rack for not doing so i would be on the phone to the press faster than you can say Jack Frost.

  5. I have just one question ! is the FSA/FCA a auditor or a regulator ?

    God only knows what information they keep requesting from the banks but if it is antthing like the new RMAR reporting us IFA’s have to do, it must be the biggest load of boll£$ks s they have set eyes on.
    And what exactly do they do with this information when they get it ?

  6. The Financial Regulator has no business in an equal opportunities role nor in the gathering of financially irrelevant statistics in the ham fisted manner they tried to go about it and at OUR expense.
    The regulator in changing the information requested in GABRIEL returns has not had the good manners to present the rationale for the change. Bullying is not acceptable. It is even worse when we are expected to pay them their pocket money as well.

  7. As ever these Parliamentarians are away with the fairies.

    When you invest an organisation with unfettered, unaccountable dictatorial powers, why are you then surprised when they act like a police state?

    If you don’t like it or have an issue with it stop wasting everyone’s time, stop whinging and change the bloody law! That’s what you’re there for, for goodness sake!

  8. “The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” – Cornelius Tacitus (55-117 A.D.)

    The Wastemonster Government ticks that box.

  9. ‘data about staff on issues such as race, marital status and sexual orientation’

    What has this got to do with regulating the industry?

    And i always thought the Data Protection Act states that information collected has to be relevant?

  10. What reason would an employer have a record of an employees sexual orientation, favourite position. or religion for in the first place?

  11. Ashamed to be british 28th February 2013 at 9:38 am

    We will most likely be in trouble for not employing members of Al Quaida or the Taliban next.
    You may disagree with the same sex marriage bill, just don’t tell the regulator.
    How long before we need to send in a time sheet with an hour by hour analysis of how we spend our day.
    Agree with Harry Katz. What is the point of the TSC
    moaning and groaning and holding their hands up in horror at this police state, which has been allowed to grow unfettered, if the government is not prepared to stop it?
    The fact that a section of the electorate, who are not numerous enough to make a difference at the polls, are subjected to this treatment, tells you all you need to know about “democracy” in Britain today.
    Young people out there…. be warned, have nothing whatsoever to do with FS. You will place yourself at the mercy of an unelected, unaccountable, out of control, quango that could give any dictator a run for it’s money.

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