FCA says writing appeals process into law would ‘delay justice’

FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley has told MPs it would be a “mistake” to make the regulatory decisions committee a statutory body as it would delay justice for regulated firms.

Martin Wheatley
Martin Wheatley: At the Treasury select committee

The RDC, part of the FCA’s independent appeals process, hears appeals against enforcement, authorisation and supervisory decisions. It is made up of external committee members from the industry, including advisers, who report to the FCA board.

Although the RDC has been retained under the new regulator, there is nothing written into law to prevent the FCA from abolishing the RDC in future.

Speaking at a Treasury select committee hearing this morning, Wheatley argued the RDC should not be made a statutory body.

Wheatley said: “It would be a mistake. The current structure with our own enforcement process, then the RDC and Upper Tribunal allow the full range of appeals to go through the system. Many of our most complex cases take too long to get to final resolution.

“They take too long for all sorts of reasons; partly because of frustrations around lawyers putting all sorts of cases forward and partly because the RDC very often is insufficient and it goes to Tribunal. If we created a statutory process for the RDC it would delay justice and I do not think it is anyone’s interests.”

Wheatley said he also disagreed with the creation of a statutory RDC because the Upper Tribunal is already required by law so there would be “overlap”.

Last October the Government rejected calls from Labour, the Treasury select committee and its own backbenchers to make the RDC a statutory body during the passage of the Financial Services Act 2012.