In a speech given at the City and Financial conference, Tracey McDermott, Acting Chief Executive of the FCA, focused on the role of personal accountability in the financial services industry.

In March 2016 the FCA is to introduce a new regime, the Senior Managers Regime (SMR) which places greater emphasis on the accountability of members of organisations in Senior Management. The FCA believe that this will be instrumental in changing the industry’s approach and preventing a “regulate, deregulate, repeat” cycle in financial services, with personal responsibility embedded, distancing the industry from a culture of short-termism.

The priorities within the SMR are, firstly, a clear focus from firms on meeting the spirit of the new rules, rather than approaching the regime with a narrow focus on the letter of the law, and secondly, for firms to take ownership of the regime and embrace the opportunities it presents for their business.

The FCA’s ambition is, via the personal accountability element within the SMR, for the industry to service its clients in a way that is innovative, vibrant, competitive and clean. This sense of accountability, in the FCA’s opinion, will allow the financial services industry to rebuild and maintain the trust and confidence of society.