The Wells Street Journal: Beard growth and barbs from Bailey

The curious goings-on in the world of financial services

A sting in Bailey’s tail

Clerks to the work and pensions select committee were left feeling like naughty schoolchildren last week after getting a scolding from FCA boss Andrew Bailey.

Bailey well and truly shook off his “big sexy turtle” persona and channelled more of an angry stingray in a note to the committee after it showed a “flippant attitude” in a press release on the British Steel Pensions Scheme scandal.

Bailey was wound up about the committee sending the note to the media 30 minutes before the regulator received it, which meant it was getting enquiries without knowing the context.

The FCA chief was also concerned by the cover email from committee staff to media, which he labelled flippant, given the seriousness of the committee’s allegations.

That feedback has been taken up separately with the clerks, who have no doubt now learned not to mess with Mr Bailey.

FSCS’s paper trail 

Elsewhere, it has emerged that the Financial Services Compensation Scheme budgeted £900,000 on outsourced printing in 2017/18.

However, readers, you can breathe a sigh of relief that this is forecast to cost just £700,000 in 2018/19. We do wonder what is racking up this cost?

Is it simply that Mark Neale likes picking up and flicking through high-quality paper that makes his missives feel weighty and important? Or is the FSCS sending out too many communications?

Whatever the reason, the lifeboat fund should follow the lead of many of the firms under its remit by going paperless. Or at least slash this part of budget by more than £200,000.

OUT OF CONTEXT

“Longer beard this year…no longer Jeremy Corbyn lookalike” 

Zurich retail platform strategy head Alistair Wilson notices ex-FCA compliance bod Rory Percival has a new look for 2018.

“Building snowmen in between meetings” 

Postcard Financial Planning director Rohan Sivajoti takes advantage of being able to give advice online.

“It mainly seems to be about avocado” 

Nest’s Otto Thoresen is still bemused about the concept of a universal income.

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