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On 17 July 2014 over 200 attendees, largely made up of industry participants and members of the public, filled the hall at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London where the first public annual FCA meeting got under way.
Other than the dissident voice of a solitary protestor, laying the accusation through a megaphone that FCA chief executive, Martin Wheatley, was wasting tax payers money—a protest and sentiment largely ignored by those filing into the conference centre—it was a pragmatic yet positive conference with the acknowledgement that with only one year under its belt, the FCA still had far to go.
Regulation that strikes the right balance
For a first public meeting, you would have expected a modicum of nerves from the panel, made up of eight senior FCA figures (including Chief Executive, Martin Wheatley, Director of Supervision, Clive Adamson and Director of Enforcement, Tracey McDermott), given the scrutiny and criticisms the regulator has suffered from the press and the government, but none of it. FCA Chairman, John Griffith-Jones, opened the meeting and was quick to establish the tone, citing that the FCA has enjoyed “a first year of solid progress”. Regulation has to strike the right balance, moving conduct from the back office to the boardroom. The FCA were “very proud” of their progress and “had made considerable strides” in achieving that goal. John Griffith-Jones was emphatic when he stated “the split had allowed both bodies (the FCA and PRA) to do what they do well”, but admitted “there is still much to do”.
Regulation of the retail sector was reported to be going well but the wholesale market continued to exhibit “nuances”, which would become the focus in the coming year. The FCA is now regulator of some 70,000 firms, a three-fold increase for the organisation and a substantial challenge. 50,000 of these are consumer credit firms seeking
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