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Rock crisis will not shift FSA to rules-based

The Northern Rock debacle will not deflect the FSA from its move to more principles based regulation, says chief executive Hector Sants.

At an FSA conference for retail financial services firms Sants said: “We believe that these times of turbulent markets reinforce the importance for both the regulator, and the industry, to focus on the outcomes and consequence of actions. The FSA is, and will remain, a risk-based and evidence-based regulator.”

Sants acknowledged that market conditions and the economic outlook were much less benign than this time last year.

But he said but said firms should not divert attention away from conduct of business requirements and high level principles.

He says: “In particular, you will need to continue the focus on treating
customers fairly and to tackling areas of financial crime. Sants reiterated that the FSA should learn lessons from the events at Northern Rock.

He said: “I commissioned an internal review of our supervision of Northern
Rock in the period up to July last year. We have committed to publishing the conclusions next month.

“I can now say it will show that the supervision of the company did not meet
the standards I would expect of the FSA, although I should also say that it
is by no means necessarily the case that more active supervision on our part
would have prevented what later occurred.”


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