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'Neutered' watchdog escapes no confidence vote

The Financial Conduct Authority avoids a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the House of Commons despite facing criticisms from MPs.

'Neutered' watchdog escapes no confidence vote

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) avoided a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the House of Commons despite facing criticisms from MPs.

The backbench debate, which was held yesterday evening, proposed the motion ‘this House believes that the FCA in its current form is not fit for purpose and we have no confidence in its existing structure and procedures.’

It was originally proposed by Conservative MP for Aberconwy Guto Bebb.

However, no vote was held on the motion as Conservative MPs rallied around the regulator.

Labour MP for Bassetlaw and Treasury Select Committee (TSC) member John Mann said the decision to drop a review into the culture of banks showed the FCA was ‘neutered’ by the Treasury.

‘With its culture review dissipated and destroyed, it is being neutered,’ he said.

He added the appointment of Andrew Bailey as chief executive of the regulator showed the Treasury and Bank of England were acting as 'big brother' to the FCA.

‘In the appointment of this chief executive, two Treasury officials and two Treasury appointees were the people who decided who the new chief executive should be,’ he said.

'The rights of the individual, the rights of the entrepreneur, the rights of the consumer are being subsumed to the big brother of the Bank of England and the Treasury.'

Mann’s fellow TSC member and Conservative MP for Wyre Forest also said evidence suggested the FCA was ‘not necessarily always being entirely fair to the consumer’.

However he added the FCA should not be treated as ‘some poor goalkeeper’ ‘when he lets through that one crucial goal he is criticised by everybody for not being up to the job’.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, Conservative MP for North East Somerset, also called for the motion to be dropped.

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