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Reliance concern at FSA data

Kent Reliance Building Society has written to the FSA to express concern that it is asking for more information on the business than its own directors would normally have.

Chief executive Mike Lazenby says he is concerned the FSA may not have the resources to process the data it is gathering on banks and building societies. He says: “It is a huge task for regulators to absorb the sheer amount of data. If another bank gets into difficulty and the FSA has had the information, it has nowhere to hide. We would not be hiding anything from our board but it is the level of detail the FSA goes into in terms of counterparties and who is borrowing or lending from who.”

Lazenby says if reports are true the FSA asked the big banks to back Bradford & Bingley, this raises questions over duties to shareholders. He says: “I do not understand how it can force a bank to do something when, in any transaction that a limited company is involved in, there has to be commercial benefit, that is a legal term.”

An FSA spokesman says: “The FSA is asking for more detailed information on the positions of banks and building societies which is to be expected in current market conditions. We only ask for information that is relevant to help our regulation and we are adequately resourced to process this.”

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