The FSA must not be a “patsy” of the Treasury, says Aifa director general Paul Smee.
At the IFA UK Conference last week, Smee said the regulator must be willing to take a stand on issues and not simply be the “yes man” for the Treasury. Smee's fears were raised by the recent polarisation decision on stakeholder.
He says it is vitally import-ant for the FSA to show independence over the direction that regulation of the industry should take. Once it receives its full authorisation next year, Smee hopes the FSA will take a more proactive role.
He points to other regulators, such as the telecomms regulator, which is fully independent of Govern ment interven tion.
But the FSA counters there are plenty of checks to ensure it takes a balanced and independent app roach to regulation.
Smee says: “The Government, having created the regulator, must step back and not try to influence it surreptitiously.”
l Conference report, p8