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Regulatory bodies challenged on pay

The new regulatory bodies should have to justify the remuneration levels of their highest-paid staff to Parliament, according to Shadow Treasury financial secretary Chris Leslie.

Earlier this month, it emerged that the average wage of an FSA senior manager is more than £235,000. Leslie says he accepts regulators need to attract skilled people but they should be challenged over their pay.

He says: “Questions need to be asked during the legislation for the new regulatory framework. You should not have an organisation unchallenged on how they are setting remuneration.

“The regulators might be funded by the industry but they are still public bodies and need to reflect the age of public sector austerity, especially if they are awarding bonuses. Otherwise, people will feel aggrieved when they are facing things like high FSCS levies.”

Leslie says that accountability and transparency are the key points Labour will push for when the legislation for the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority is published.

He says: “People will hold their parliamentarians to account for decisions made by regulators. The more those decisions affect people’s day- to-day lives, the more there needs to be an improved role for Parliament.”

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  1. The current government has already declared that the FCA will be as unaccountable as the FSA. So, whilst many in the industry may well agree with the sentiments of this call, nothing will change unless or until a Regulatory Oversight Committee is created, with absolute power to veto anything the regulator proposes or indeed anything it may be doing already which is widely held to be fundamentally unfair, unreasonable, excessively costly, based on unsound or skewed research or just plain wrong. Anything less will change nothing.

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