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FCA's Wheatley: financial firms are getting their act together

by Dylan Lobo on Oct 23, 2013 at 15:01

FCA's Wheatley: financial firms are getting their act together

Martin Wheatley believes the financial world has finally sorting itself out after a testing few years.  

In speech at Mansion House scheduled for later today, the Financial Conduct Authority chief executive will say: ‘It is sobering to reflect on how far and fast the financial world has moved on over the last five years.

‘From the inside looking out, what we have now is a financial environment better able to calibrate risk and manage it. Multiple lessons have been learnt and applied. In a technical sense at least – we have moved things forward for the better.’

He will add: ‘To end, I do think the financial world is getting its act together. People want to know whether progress is uniform? Whether we can prevent all financial shocks?

‘Are the efforts of banks and financial services genuine? Are we going to get a fairer deal in the future? Will there be more set-backs? Is the regulatory system genuinely reformed? To which my answers would be: not yet, no, probably, I think so, yes, and absolutely.’

However, Wheatley (pictured) still thinks there is some way to go before the world of finance can hold its head high.

‘I also want to make the point that there is no room for complacency. Poor conduct is still a daily staple of the news – most recently in the wholesale markets. And until this flow of headlines slows, until the change is real and manifest, it will prove difficult to deliver confidence,’ he will say.

‘For me, there are two key challenges in moving things forward. Number one: to look ahead more effectively so you prevent crisis. Number two, to respond to the changing world around us with cultural reform of our own.’

He will also highlight some of the weaknesses of the regulator during the crisis, focusing on the failure to nip problems in the bud.  

‘Much of the criticism of the regulator in the past – which we are now working to untangle – has been around the frustrations of retrospective action versus early warning, talking over listening to, and inconsistency over predictability,’ Wheatley will say.

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4 comments so far. Why not have your say?


Oct 23, 2013 at 15:33

Pat on the back, smack around the head...

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Man of Kent

Oct 23, 2013 at 15:51

It's OK, chaps. Lessons have been learned, things have moved forward and yet more things have been calibrated (measured). Well, at least they will have been when the speech has actually been made. What is this passion for releasing entire speeches in advance? Why not report it once it's been made?

Or perhaps this is the only chance of any listener remembering what the 6 questions MW will ask actually were when he lists the answers afterwards?

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Jonathan Kirby

Oct 23, 2013 at 16:49

@ MoK

Releasing speeches early is a way of making sure that what gets reported is what you want to get across rather than relying on someone to report what is actually said as they will probably focus on something totally different.

In any event he might not even say what is in the speech. Who knows the notes may be left on the train and end up winging it!!

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Oct 23, 2013 at 19:50

Martin Wheatley does seem to be at least taking the right approach in the main, is trying to be far and has inherited a complete mess and ticking time bomb from the FSA, which he seems to be trying to defuse.

It is easy for critics to point out failings, but as the saying goes “for each and every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. After so many years of the FSA messing so much up, we should support the new regulator to give them chance to correct the past.

Looking at the events over the last six months this is a very different regulator. Yes there have been some very distasteful comments, such as “be afraid”, but then if the criminal and fraudulent element actually do get prosecuted and closed down, I for one will support the regulator one hundred per cent.

As with every person, when I read a comment I relate it to me and our business, not taking into account that the comment is pointed specifically at a group of individuals which I actually do not belong.

The media has a role to play and sometime they can be the devil’s advocate.

If we move from retrospective action this has to be good news for both advisers and consumers. However this will take many years as there are legacy problems which they have inherited.

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