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Sants: FSA was not supported by public or Parliament

The Prudential Regulation Authority must have support from the public and Parliament if it is to be a success, according to PRA chief executive designate Hector Sants

Speaking today at the launch of a briefing document on the approach of the PRA, Sants said the FSA never received full Governmental or public backing.

He said: “It seems to me that a major issue for the FSA was that it never achieved the full support of Parliament or the public. There was a misalignment of the understanding of the purpose and value of supervision. The PRA must start its life with the full backing and agreement of those it serves.

“We need to recognise that the PRA’s purpose is understood and supported by the community that it serves, namely the UK society as represented by Parliament.”


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There are 34 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Until Sants is removed there will be no support

  2. Incompetent Regulators Awards Team 19th May 2011 at 12:38 pm

    There’s the cue. SCRAP FSMA 2000 witout delay.

  3. No support for PRA, same people, dont know what they are doing, dont understand the industry, same cock ups, new name, stunning, they wont be happy until there are no IFA’s and there mates in the banks can screw the public without IFA’s being there to tell our clients

  4. Cut the regulation, red tape and cut the cost would be a good start

  5. He says he realise there was no support for the FSA, but he ran the organisation and to me, this is equivalent to that there is no support for him. So why on earth is he going to be in charge of the new PRA??? Does he not own pride?

  6. Steven Farrall (Adviser Alliance) 19th May 2011 at 12:49 pm

    You notice that he admits to seek support from the industry? The sole purpose of regulation – as originally conceived – was to ensure that privatised industries did not morph into monopolies but became a competitve market. New Labour morphed reg-yew-lay-shun into nationalisation by regulation. This is Sants problem. He wants to continue to run a ‘nationalised industry’ according to his own ideas of what is right. The new regulators needs to abandon The FSA’s nationalisation approach and win support from the industry.

  7. Jennifer Nicholls 19th May 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Why should anyone support incompetence. Sants should go and new staff put in place who understand what they are doing. I agree totally with the above comments.

  8. Gee!! this bloke (Sants) really is a MUMPTY !

    Just resign !!! I would support that

  9. Agreed The FSMA 2000 was bad law and the government was told so at the time. Consider this advice below:

    Joint Committee

    Advice by Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC and Monica Carss-Frisk

    We are asked to advise on two issues:
    (a) Whether the institution of disciplinary proceedings by the Financial Services Authority (“FSA”) purely on the basis of a breach of one of its proposed statements of principle could potentially infringe Article 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”);
    (b)Whether, in the light of the policy statements in Chapter 5 of the FSA’s Consultation Paper 17, the nature of the disciplinary proceedings which the FSA will be empowered to bring under the Financial Services and Markets Bill (“the Bill”) is criminal or civil.

    2. For the reasons given below, we consider that (1) the conviction of a firm of a disciplinary offence purely on the basis of a breach of one of the statements of principle, where the conduct in question does not fall within any detailed rule, evidential provision, code or guidance, would be contrary to Article 7 of the ECHR; and (2) disciplinary proceedings under the Bill would be treated as criminal in substance for the purposes of attracting the procedural safeguards guaranteed by Article 6 of the ECHR.

  10. Support and respect are earned. Every IFA would like a regulator that they can respect and support. A regulator that operates with fairness, accountability and respect for those it regulates.

    The regulator needs to be accountable for its mistakes under law.

    Personally I would like to see the regulator for IFA’s move out of London and to a regional town where rents and salaries are more acceptable. I suspect its staff would also understand a little more about what life is like for the majority of those it regulates.

  11. Priceless statement, it`s now obvious, this man never knew what he was doing or why!

  12. Roddy McKenzie 19th May 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Come on Hector. With one breath you value your independence from parliament and tell them you will do nothing to change things because of this autonomy (the arrogance!) and then in another breath want those same people to support you.
    Let me remind you that it is US the IFA and other financial contributors to the FSA who pay your salary. WE are your customers not the public. It is US who want fair regulation and the removal of the crooks and incompetant not you. We came first you are an afterthought.. The public and parliament wouldn’t recognise a crook even if he had a name tag reading CROOK on it. So leave it out with the crocdile tears.

  13. Bob Donaldson 19th May 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Surely this says it all. It was not backed by the public (because they had no faith in what it did, Equitable Life and many others caused this), and it was not baked by Parliament (because it operated outside its remit and was rubbish at its job).

    If I had the same reaction from my clients I would not be in business.

  14. I suppose the UK will be giving advice to Libya, advising them that the best way to change their failing regime & satisfy the people, would not be to remove Colonel Gadaffi. Instead have him head up a new political party, and all is ok.

  15. Christian Patricot 19th May 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Support and respect needs to be earned. How can you expect or whinge about lack of both when you lead an organisation that is so inept and rotten to its core. By the way, congratulations on the new job.

  16. Goes to show that Sants seems to have no brains, he admits that he didnt have the support of the people or Parliament, at the TSC he stated he couldnt be touched by Law, thanks to the FSMA 2000.
    I have yet to meet more than 1 in 100 IFA’s who have any faith in him or the F Pack, how long will this farse continue.

  17. By Golly Hector, what a perceptive chap you are!

    Industry and Adviser support WAS there at one point, but has been damaged and eroded by a number of issues, including:

    * A consistent failure to understand the industry, and particularly the IFA sector.

    * Heavy handed and obscure requirements.

    * Unwillingness to accept responsibility.

    * Too many ‘initiatives’ and changes of approach

    * And not least, empire building and excessive pay and benefits packages for FSA Management, certainly at the senior levels.

    Will it be different this time? Don’t hold your breath, especially if these same greedy clowns are in charge.

  18. George Williamson 19th May 2011 at 1:40 pm

    BOO HOO, nobody liked us!

    Hector, please just grow up and start acting like an adult.

  19. They don’t seem to get it at all and it sems to me the higher your salary and the more grand the title the more unrealistic people are.

    Get in the real World please and the comment pointing out that we are the ones picking up the salary and overall cost of this has been missed or is it just ignored.

    Reduce the salaries and reduce the amount of people and that would be a start.

  20. It all starts from understanding and a good start would be to translate the rules and guidance into plain English from the gobbledegook management speak that the FSA invariably use. Then there has to be a perception of benefit which is a tough one for the FSA to overcome given the various scandals which have occurred during their watch involving Banks, Banks, Banks and did I mention Banks? Hanging is too good for them I say!

  21. ……………… sorry its taken so long to respond Sants but I’ve just been released from casualty. You see I read your statement and as I fell off my chair laughing I broke a few bones as I hit the office floor!

  22. Like many things dreamed up by government the FSA was in the charge of people unqualified to do the job. That is why FSA were staffed by Bankers knowing little and caring less about the Life assurance, and IFA community and produced a reign of terror on this community whilst leaving the banks unscathed, What is more they were and are vicious and vindictive towards those that have the temerity to question them..

  23. hmm, i bet not one of you has ever –

    1 – Churned anything
    2 – Picked a product becasue it pays you the most
    3 – Recomended a prodcut you didnt really understand

    If you hadn’t then Hectors job and the new regulator wouldnt have to exist, and before you start raving on about how ‘some do, but i have never’, we have heard it all before.

  24. IFA Defence Union 19th May 2011 at 3:52 pm

    If you want society to support regulation you first have to ask what has regulation done for society?

    We can’t think of anything, can you Hector?

    Then you have to ask what the regulators have done for regulation.

    We still can’t think of anything, can you Hector?

    But at the end of this interminable day what has society done for regulators?

    That one is easy isn’t it Hector!!

  25. Mr Sants if you had an ounce of integrity you would resign, you have led this failed organisation.

    and Anonymous 19 May 2011 3:24 pm – what an absolute idiot you are!

  26. Julian Stevens 19th May 2011 at 5:01 pm

    The FSA’s own litany of failures and profligacies is hardly likely to stand it in anything approaching good stead with either the public or the government, is it?

    Gordon Brown has declared the creation of the FSA as a huge mistake. The present government is breaking it up. The FSA was asleep at the wheel as far as egulating the banks was concerned. It makes false claims on its website about being “open and transparent”. The likes of Clive Briault get paid off with vast severance packages because their contracts are written so as as to entitle them to be rewarded massively for failure. The latest cover-up is of the report on who was to blame for the failure of RBS. A programme of vindictive obstruction has been pursued against many former Park Row advisers regaining authorisation. Expense limits are routinely and flagrantly breached. £20m worth of bonuses are paid in the wake of failure. Advisers are denied the protection of English Law in the form of the longstop, for no better reason than the FSA sees it as yet another handy mechanism with which to persecute us to the grave. Regulatory oversights are papered over with hindsight reviews and the retrospective application of new guidelines. Consultations on new regulatory initiatives are just hollow token shams, the feedback from which is never published for all to see and to debate in open forum. The FSA is accountable to nobody for its actions, yet all Adair Turner does is call endlessly for more staff, more resources, more powers and more money. Just let us take more, more, more and eventually we may start to get it right.

    The list goes on and on. And you wonder why you and the FSA are so universally reviled Hector? Wake up and smell the coffee!

  27. If the FSA could not hide behind statutory immunity for the consequences of its actions it might take a bit more care to get things right….

  28. Can you give back the 1.6 MILLION you spent on christmas parties, that we paid for. I suppose you had to chear your staff up after the OFT find you for bullying your owns staff. What a screwed up organisation.

  29. Anonymous at 3:24 yesterday – no, I haven’t and there are many more like me. That’s why we wanted regulation to stop those unlike us. But we expected it to be effective, proportionate and cost effective, none of which it is.

    @ Mr Sants – You now admit to being the head of an organisation which has no confidence in Parliament or in the public. Leadership comes from the top; it’s your responsibility. The decent thing to do in those circumstances is resign. Politicians and business heads do it in those circumstances. So why haven’t you already done it?

  30. Mr Sants has shown by his actions in his previous position that he is ‘not fit for purpose’ and should go now.

  31. Maybe they should be paid for by the public/Parliament.

  32. A tyrant may be feared but never will he gain respect.
    The deference afforded to him by his sycophantic toadies may encourage him to think he has respect, when all he has is fearful obedience because people are afraid, very afraid and rightly so, of mad dictators who demand minute details of trivialities whilst ignoring the bigger picture, which eventually leads to their own demise. Unfortunately, for those caught up in the mayhem, this can take years.
    Anon 19th may 3.24 What difference has hector made to any of the problems you mention? Or are you one of the deluded aforementioned toadies?

  33. The arrogance of Sants and Nicholl in front of the TSC recently, no doubt explains why the FSA have no credibility within the industry or with Parliament.

    Perhaps the forthcoming reports on RBS and Judicial Review of Keydata will further confirm what failures they have been.

  34. Julian Stevens 25th May 2011 at 10:13 am

    What greater support from Parliament could Sants reasonably expect than:-

    1. to have been set up by it,

    2. to be granted free rein without accountability within the provisions of the FSMA 2000 and

    3. to be permitted to opt out unilaterally from the Statutory Code of Practice For Regulators and

    4. complete licence to interpret the rules by which it’s supposed to operate in whatever way it pleases, e.g. conducting consultation exercises without publishing any of the feedback it receives in response to those consultations?

    The FSA is a government quango ( funded by compulsory levies from the private sector (what a great combination), yet still the lie is peddled that it’s independent. It seems that the FSA wants its cake and to eat it, by way of government backing without accountability.

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