View more on these topics

FCA hits back at Govt interference claims

Tracey McDermott FCA 700x450.jpg

The FCA has dismissed claims its independence from Government has been compromised and defends its approach to the scrapped review into banking culture.

Both the regulator and Government have come under fire following the decision to close the inquiry into bank culture in favour of dealing with firms individually.

But at a Treasury committee meeting today, FCA chairman John Griffith-Jones flatly denied claims the regulator was lent on to drop the probe.

When asked by chairman Andrew Tyrie whether independence had been compromised or if specific decisions had been called into question he said: “The answer is no to both. In general I don’t feel pressure and certainly on specific operational decisions – particulary enforcement – clearly not.”

Griffith-Jones and acting chief executive Tracey McDermott also defended the handling around the communication of the decision to close the inquiry.

In December 2014 the Davis Review criticised the response to a botched media briefing that sent insurers’ share prices tumbling.

But McDermott said the decision to drop the review was not market sensitive.

She said: “There was nothing secret about the decision to drop the review. We communicated with the banks, with our panels and with one of your colleagues [Mark Garnier MP], the Banking Standards Board, British Bankers Association, there was nothing secret about it it was simply an operational decision.”

She added: “I do not believe there is any market sensitivity that the review is being scrapped. I don’t think there’s been any market reaction. In terms of public interest, clearly because of the amount of attention to this over the last couple of weeks it would be difficult to say there was not a public interest. That’s why we will need to consider whether or not wecommunicate differently.”

McDermott stressed dropping the inquiry did not mean the regulator was changing its approach to improving banking culture.

Griffith-Jones added chief executive terms should be increased from three to five years. Former chief executive Martin Wheatley was ousted by the Chancellor at end of his term in September last year.

Griffith-Jones admitted morale was down at the regulator following Wheatley’s departure. An independent review into the FCA board published last week said staff were affected by public criticism.



Rob Clifford: Get set for a rollercoaster year

The Mortgage Credit Directive rules, stamp duty hikes and new competition will make 2016 just as exciting as 2015 The UK mortgage market had its ups and downs last year but lending activity has grown throughout. Despite some obstacles to overcome in 2016, it seems this trajectory can be maintained. That said, 2015 did not […]


4,000 borrowers contact controversial self-cert lender in 48 hours

Controversial new lender claims over 4,000 borrowers have registered an interest in the two days since it launched. The start-up, which launched on Monday, is backed by private equity investors and is based in the Czech Republic. It is reportedly offering a tracker loan set at 2 per cent above base rate and will […]


Passing your examination the easy way

Michael Ward has spent many long and frustrating hours simplifying the CeMAP exam-taking process with the use of some cleverly composed notes he calls rapid learning guides. Before I let Ward loose on the MS platform I&#39ll tell you briefly about some people who have used Michael&#39s notes. Cameron Thurston had become disillusioned with the […]

Survey cover

EEF/Jelf Employee Benefits Sickness Absence Survey 2015

EEF stated in its 2015 EEF Manifesto that the UK’s growth prospects depend on people being fit, working and productive. Keeping people in work and helping people return to work is very important for the manufacturing sector. It means boosting productivity by getting people back into work as early as is possible, as well as fostering workplace cultures and environments that proactively manage individuals’ health conditions so that all can benefit from lower sickness absence outcomes.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up
  • Post a comment
  • Steven Balmer 21st January 2016 at 5:35 pm

    Well nothing said that could upset the current Government; so is this to imply no interfering there then? Where is the “Hit Back” referred to in the headline? If Griffith Jones does not feel pressure he is either lying to avoid Government repercussions or he is an idiot – given Osborne got right of his predecessor.