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New Year honours list ignores the City

Last year former FSA chief executive John Tiner celebrated a CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list but it was always unlikely any of the regulator’s staff would feature this year.

The financial services industry was notably absent from representation in the list, apart from Sandy Crombie’s knighthood for services to the insurance industry in Scotland.

E H Ranson & Co owner Simon Bolam also received an MBE for services to the insurance industry.

Perhaps the Queen purposely snubbed the finance industry, considering the crumbling economy and bleak predictions for the year ahead.

In her Christmas address, the Queen described the current mood as “sombre”.

She said: “Christmas is a time for celebration, but this year it is a more sombre occasion for many. People are touched by events which have their roots far across the world. Whether it is the global economy or violence in a distant land, the effects can be keenly felt at home.”

But she urged the public to fight the difficulties faced in current times.

She said: “When life seems hard the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future.”

This may rouse the spirits of some, but judging by the negative predictions for the year ahead it is going to be a very tough slog.

Next week the FSA is expected to make a decision about whether or not it will lift its ban on short-selling of financial stock, which is due to expire on January 16.

Many traders will be hoping for the ban to end, but heavy pressure from politicians could lead to it remaining in place. Treasury select committee chairman John McFall says the regulator must come up with a convincing argument for why the ban should be lifted.

IFADU founder and chairman Evan Owen says the regulator is manipulating the market by restricting a legitimate investing strategy.

Owen says: “It’s market manipulation of the worst kind. If a company has a weakness all this ban does is help disguise that. This is just another mechanism to control the excesses of people who want to keep share prices high.”

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