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Turner: Make FCA minutes public

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FSA chairman Adair Turner and Treasury financial secretary Mark Hoban have signalled support for the publication of the board minutes of the new Financial Conduct Authority relating to decisions on substantial policy decisions.

In a Treasury select committee hearing last week, Turner said he is “quite favourable” to making board meeting minutes around policies such as the RDR and the mortgage market review public. He also suggested that non-executive board members should give evidence to the TSC to increase accountability of the decision-making process.

He said: “Monetary policy committee minutes allow the world to see the arguments in the debate and you then not only invite the governor but the non-executives to make sure there is an open debate. We could extend that to the FPC, where a direct public policy is addressed.

“When we debate the RDR or the MMR, we are on behalf of society making rules with legal force but the visibility of those debates to the external world is not very great.”

Giving evidence to the TSC this week, Hoban said Turner’s proposal was a “helpful suggestion”. He said the regulator’s consultation process makes their work more transparent than the MPC’s but added that was no reason not to follow Turner’s suggestion.

Conservative MPs and TSC members Andrea Leadsom and Mark Garnier both say the move would make the committee more effective in its role of scrutinising and holding financial regulators to account.

Speaking to Money Marketing, Garnier says: “Getting in at least the non-executive board members would help us understand how decisions are made rather than simply what they are.

“With the minutes from board meetings public, we could say to them ’well, you said this, it is in the minutes, can you explain what you meant’ rather than it all happening behind closed doors.”

Leadsom says: “I would really like to see the committee getting involved earlier in decision processes rather than at the end when it is all a bit of a done deal.”

Garnier says he would like to see FSA non-executives in front of the TSC before the new regulatory structure is in place but warned that the committee’s “monumental” workload could make finding the time for increased scrutiny difficult.

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Comments

There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. A better move would be if the FSA/FCA were to be required by Statute to publish for all to see and to debate ALL submissions in response to its so-called “consultations” instead of keeping them firmly locked well away from public scrutiny and issuing bland statements to the effect that it’s “taken them on board” ~ which, of course, nobody believes, for the simple reason that what comes out at the end of these consultations is virtually no different from what it was before.

    And anyway, all that publishing the minutes of the official board meetings will mean is that unofficial, unreported ones will be convened in parallel. Those will be where the real issues and agendas are discussed and formulated.

    What is needed ~ and, if its hasn’t yet woken up to it by now, then the TSC really is a waste of space ~ is an Independent Parliamentary Regulatory Oversight Committee, with the power to say to the FCA: This is wrong and you’re not going to do it, not to mention holding it to to both the spirit and to the letter of the Statutory Code of Practice For Regulators.

    We live in hope, if not expectation.

  2. How about seeing the minutes and original consultation on removal of the longstop when the handbok changed from PIA to FSA.
    I suppose that would be difficult since there was no consultation I was aware of….
    WAKE UP. You cannot claim a right to investigate cases to infinity. Apply any arbitary limit you think you can justify (how you can sit there and justify solciitors and accountants keeping their longstop, but removing ours I stilldon’t know)
    You are MORALLY bandrupt at the FSA and anyone working their is condoning this morally bankrupt actions.
    Lord Hunt really should hang his head in shame while Hector Sants might need to explain to his god why he thinks he and his cronies have a right to infinity….

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