The Rally for Better Financial Regulation is an important, new and exciting initiative powered by the Transparency Task Force, which is the Certified Social Enterprise with a mission to promote ongoing reform of the financial sector so that it serves society better. The Rally for Better Financial Regulation is an additional brand of the Transparency Task Force.
We are organising the Rally because we believe the financial sector is profoundly important to the wellbeing of society, to economic stability and to political stability too; but we also believe that society cannot have the financial sector it needs and deserves if the regulatory framework that governs it is poor.
The most important financial regulator in the UK for market conduct and consumer protection is the Financial Conduct Authority, which we believe could, and should, be doing a much better job, particularly in relation to providing an appropriate degree of consumer protection. This was one of the statutory objectives originally given to the Financial Services Authority (FSA), brought into being by an Act of Parliament in 2000, (FSMA 2000) with subsequent revisions.
Parliament determined that a key objective of this legislation was to satisfy a requirement for securing an appropriate degree of protection for consumers.
The FSA failed to properly satisfy this objective and Parliament replaced it with the Financial Conduct Authority in 2013, in an attempt to remedy this and other regulatory failures that were contributing to a collapse in trust and confidence in the UK’s financial regulatory framework.
A slew of recent high-profile consumer detriment cases, together with extensive condemning evidence now confirms that the Financial Conduct Authority has also comprehensively failed in its remit to adequately protect consumers. Clearly, the ‘fix’ of replacing the FSA with the Financial Conduct Authority has not worked and we believe it is now incumbent on Parliament to properly protect its citizens by committing to take suitable action.
Whilst the Financial Conduct Authority is undergoing a transformation, that transformation is being led by….the Financial Conduct Authority and we have good reason to believe it will fail to deal with the very real and very serious underlying conflicts and woeful lack of accountability that cause it to under-perform.
Furthermore, the hoped for ‘independence’ of the Financial Conduct Authority has been undermined by the primacy of the dominant interests and influences of the ‘City’ whilst serving to shield itself from effective scrutiny and accountability, sweeping aside the democratic intentions of Parliament to properly protect the financial interests of ordinary people.
The campaigning through the Rally will focus on our firm, evidence-based belief that the Financial Conduct Authority is not fit for purpose and that it needs to be robustly reformed, or if necessary replaced. Furthermore, we do not have sufficient trust and confidence in the Financial Conduct Authority being able to fix the long list of things that are wrong with it through its own Transformation Programme, because it is riddled with too many conflicts of interest for that to happen, unfortunately.
Please note that whilst we think there is a great deal wrong with the Financial Conduct Authority, we do not believe the general staff are to blame at all. The vast majority of Financial Conduct Authority employees are honest, ethical and hard-working people doing the best job they can. Rather, we believe the Financial Conduct Authority is “wrong at the top” and is subject to unhealthy external influences on it, for example from, HM Treasury, The City of London, the banks and the financial sector’s major trade bodies such as UK Finance. UK Finance is known to have enormous resources and lobbying power that it uses very effectively.
Also, please note that: