At the FSA annual public meeting in London today, Turner said: “Faced with that uncertainty the FSA’s task is simply to concentrate on ensuring that we have the regulation, the supervisory processes, the people and the skills required to deliver a more stable financial system in future.
“These things will be required whatever the division of responsibility between different institutions results from, whatever the electorate decides.”
FSA chief executive Hector Sants added: “I hope that regardless of any changes to the high-level regulatory architecture in the UK that the culture, the people, and the operating model that we have created here at the FSA will continue to provide the effective supervision that society requires.”
City law firm CMS Cameron McKenna partner Paul Edmondson says although Sants didn’t specifically refer to the Tory proposal to abolish the FSA, a large part of his speech was aimed at justifying the continued presence of FSA as the single regulator of financial services in the UK.
He says: “He gave some good examples of scenarios where a split of prudential and conduct of business regulation between different regulators makes little sense. However, the focus on UK regulatory structure is a distraction from the real issues for the industry.
“As Mr Sants acknowledged, the ability of FSA or any other regulator to deliver on its objectives depends on their ability to influence international organisations such as the Basel Committee and the European Commission. For the benefit of the UK financial services industry it would much better if regulators and politicians could focus on those challenges, rather than getting caught up in a UK power struggle.”