What you need to know

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:

  • The basic information about the Rally is on the About page
  • The Rally is free to attend, but please make a donation to help cover the cost; the bigger the better of course, but every penny counts so even the very smallest of contributions will be greatly appreciated. 
  • If you want to know about the Rally’s Leadership & Governance, click here.
  • You can read the comments of support for the Rally that are coming in here
  • If you have any questions, please use the Contact Us page.

We want a Financial Conduct Authority...

that doesn’t have a cosy relationship with banks, UK Finance and the Treasury which results in inappropriate influence

that doesn’t put The City before citizens, which results in its failure to provide consumers with appropriate protection

that doesn’t cheerlead for the companies it is supposed to regulate, as part of the “competitiveness agenda”

that doesn’t risk another financial crisis through deregulation, as part of the “competitiveness agenda”

that introduces a Private Right to Action to help consumers get compensation if they are ripped off

that consults on a Duty of Care, as per the wishes of Parliament in the Financial Services Act 2021

that isn’t blocking justice and compensation for the victims of fraud and mis-selling of Interest Rate Hedging Products

that isn’t morally bankrupt, whereby a Judicial Review is needed to get it to make banks pay the compensation owed

that treats consumer protection as a priority and actively engages with consumer groups

that doesn’t let down savers and investors, and leaves fraud victims high and dry

that doesn’t ignore the evidence of malpractice, malfeasance, misconduct and mis-selling given to it

that doesn’t use “we can’t look at individual cases” as an excuse for inaction

that uses the Senior Management Certification Regime to penalise those that cause harm; and thereby deters others

that is interventionist and enforces proactively and potently, instead of “closing the door after the horse has bolted”

that doesn’t let those truly guilty of LIBOR rigging to be let off the hook, while allowing the innocent to be jailed

that wants justice for the LIBOR scapegoats, in light of the BBC’s new “LIBOR Tapes” evidence

that is fit for purpose, honest, transparent and accountable

that backs an independent and effective Financial Ombudsman

that is subject to inquiries into its regulatory failure cases, such as Woodford, Blackmore Bond, Connaught and so on

that is subject to an independent, judge-led investigation into its catastrophic handling of Blackmore Bond

that doesn’t let mortgage books get sold to aggressive, predatory, exploitative, and unregulated vulture funds

that gets justice for the “Mortgage Prisoners” who have endured years of suffering, despite their innocence

that doesn’t try to cover up its failings and escape its responsibilities by hiding behind “lessons learned” reviews

that doesn’t “mark its own homework” by appointing the people that review its work

that doesn’t destroy whistle-blowers’ careers and lives

that is answerable to Parliament and consumers

that doesn’t have a toxic culture that’s hostile to challenge from its own staff and dismissive of criticism from others

that admits its Transformation Programme won’t fix the fundamental conflicts that cause it to underperform

that doesn’t force innocent firms to pay an exorbitant “regulatory failure tax” to pay for its own failings

that isn’t riddled with Revolving Door problems, whereby FCA staff leave and go to work for firms they were regulating

that properly supervises the debt market, ensuring that lenders aren’t using misleading APR figures

that stops the financial sector being the worst violator, see https://violationtrackeruk.goodjobsfirst.org/top-industries 

that mandates for transparency on costs and charges in pensions and investments

that isn’t prone to chronic and catastrophic regulatory failure, with thousands losing life-changing sums of money

that isn’t changing its complaints scheme to prevent the people it harms getting the compensation they deserve

that doesn’t block the Transparency Task Force being included in its Consumer Network

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