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Turner tipped to be FSA chairman

A top regulatory consultant has warned that if Adair Turner – a front-runner for the post of chairman of the FSA – gets the job, he may be less swayed by industry feedback than current chairman Sir Callum McCarthy.

Beachcroft Regulatory Consulting managing director Richard Hobbs says Turner has a determined view of the world.

Hobbs says: “I believe he will set the agenda in a more determined way than Callum did. I am not saying that he will not seek industry feedback but what he does with that feedback remains to be seen.’ He considers that Turner, who is a former director general of the CBI will “know his mind”.

It is believed that Turner’s appointment will be announ-ced over the next two weeks and he will take over from McCarthy when he steps down in September.

Turner is chairman of the Government’s committee on climate change and is believed to be unwilling to give up that post. Hobbs says Turner may struggle to juggle the time commitment demanded by the two positions.

He says: “He is already on the climate change committee, which takes up three days a week of his time but the chairman role requires three days a week also.”

Turner headed the Pensions Commission, which recommended many aspects of personal accounts.

Cicero director Iain Anderson does not agree Turner would be less open to industry feedback. He says: “I do not think he comes out either for or against the industry. It is vital that whoever takes the position is open to dialogue with the sector. It is a balanced brief – one has a statutory responsibility to manage the sector but also to engage with consumer lobby groups.”

Baronworth director Colin Jackson says it is essential that the chairman of the regulator is open to feedback. He says: “We do not want someone coming in and making huge decisions without taking the views of the industry on board.”


Single regime wanted for liquidity

The majority of respondents to the FSA’s discussion paper on liquidity requirements for banks and building societies say quantitative requirements are a necessary component and want a single quantitative regime to replace the existing three.

Easy come, easy go

Volatility and periods of pronounced weakness have marked European equity markets following four years of strong gains. Banks were initially at the epicentre of these market moves but concerns about the economic outlook have begun to affect the wider market. We think that the root causes of this volatility – a higher risk premium and softer growth – are here to stay for the foreseeable future.

Torrid timing

Listening to Jupiter’s Edward Bonham-Carter giving his views on the state of the stockmarket on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme reminded me how misleading indices can be. The FTSE 100’s recovery to within a few percentage points of last year’s highs masks the fact that some sectors have suffered greatly. The good performance of mining and oil shares has helped boost the overall level of the index.


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