Treasury snubs call to publish FCA minutes

The Government has refused to bow to pressure to take up Lord Turner’s recommendation that the FCA should be required to publish its board minutes.

Last November, FSA chairman Adair Turner told the Treasury select committee he is “quite favourable” to the idea of publishing minutes as long as the rule is not applied retrospectively.

In its report into the accoun tability of the FCA, the TSC backed the idea and asked for it to be written into legislation. In its report, the joint committee on the draft Financial Services Bill said the FCA should be required to publish board minutes as well for bodies such as the consumer and practitioner panels.

But in guidance on the bill, published last week, the Government says it should be for the board to decide.

It says: “While the Government endorses the joint committee’s view that the governance of the FCA should be as transparent as possible and appropriate, it is of the view that operational issues relating to transparency should, in the first instance, be a matter for the FCA board.”

The board is likely to come under serious pressure if it decides not to publish its minutes.The guidance notes the “commitment to transparency” on FCA governance and accountability demonstrated by FSA bosses on the issue.

Conservative MP and TSC member Mark Garnier says given that commitment, it is reasonable to expect the board to publish minutes without the need for legislation.

He adds: “If we get to the other side of all this and the FCA does not publish its minutes, the select committee will give it a hard time and find out what it has to hide.”