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What’s in a name?

When the chancellor of the exchequer declared that the Financial Services Authority was to be abolished brokers were delighted at the regulator’s demise.

Originally the FSA was set to be split into the Prudential Regulation Authority and Consumer Protection and Markets Authority, both under the auspices of the Bank of England.

There was also the Financial Policy Committee which is set to consider the macro-stability of the UK economy and prevent bubbles.

But even though it was only announced last June and is not due to be in operation for at least another two years the CPMA has already been renamed the Financial Conduct Authority.

It’s now only one letter away from its predecessor but don’t be surprised if it is renamed again.

So it’s good to know that the reason the approved person’s register has been delayed until 2012 or 2013 is down to these crucial regulatory changes of name changing.

But the FSA insists on spending its final months fretting over the odd letter in titles rather than widely-supported regulatory changes – a novelty it should grasp.

Apart from these crucial name changes that are delaying and disrupting all aspects of financial services regulation what is actually changing?

Well, the people are the same as Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England for the last decade, is to get even more powers with overall control of financial regulation.

And Hector Sants, chief executive of the FSA, will head up the macro-stability PRA and get a promotion to deputy governor of the Bank.

The only new face will be Martin Wheatley, former regulator Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission, who will head up the FCA.

So with new names, the same people and a whole lot of disruption is this all really worth it Mr Chancellor?

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