Thinktank urges Ukip to tackle financial regulation

Thinktank the Institute of Economic Affairs has urged Ukip to stem the tide of FCA regulation in a speech to the party’s annual conference.

Speaking in London today, IEA director-general Mark Littlewood said Ukip must broaden its appeal beyond its policy to leave the European Union and outline plans on public spending and regulation.

He said the scale and scope of financial services regulation is too much and called on the party to take a stand against the FCA’s growing powers.

Ukip opposes the RDR and says it would scrap FCA rules which ban commission payments.

Littlewood said: “The FCA handbook is divided into 10 sections. The section entitled prudential standards is divided into 11 sub-sections, the sub-section entitled prudential sourcebook for banks, building societies and investment firms is made up of 14 sub-sub-sections, the sub-sub-section called market risk is divided into 11 sub-sub-sub-sections and the sub-sub-sub section on interest rates is 66 paragraphs.

“There are over a million paragraphs in the rulebook. Until recently financial services regulation was overseen by the Bank of England with just 30 employees overseeing banks but the number of UK financial supervisors has increased dramatically to about 1,200. In 1980 there was one supervisor per every 11,000 employees in the financial sector and today there is one for every 300.

“I don’t know how you can describe such a framework but you certainly can’t describe it as unregulated, free market business.”