The Chairman of the FCA, John Griffith-Jones, delivered a speech at the TheCityUK Annual Conference reflecting on the regulation of the UK and global industry post-crisis.
He dealt with three questions:
- How does the industry set about thinking through in short order what its strategy is in the post crisis, post Brexit era?
- What can we regulators learn from the past about successful regulatory policy, and its inter connectedness with other global authorities and initiatives?
- How important will ‘conduct’ be in the future?
He emphasised the importance of the sector linking in with the government and the regulators on their strategic priorities noting: “The position is uncertain and it will not be settled for some time. But it is important for firms to resist the temptation to cite chicken and egg - 'we cannot design a strategy without knowing the rules'. It is important for the UK that, at the appropriate moment, you are able to inform the Government where your major opportunities and risks lie, along with other industries, as it forms its plans for the negotiation of our exit. The FCA will, of course, be working closely with the other authorities in this process.”
He also made clear that for now, nothing changes and the FCA will continue to do its ‘day job’. For future regulation, it is clear that the direction of travel is for international convergence and the UK will seek to act, where possible, in concert with the rest of the world, including the EU. That will mean working with the European authorities, and global bodies such as the FSB and IOSCO. Mr Griffith-Jones emphasised that bilateral relationships with fellow regulators in many countries will continue to be of great importance. Nonetheless, Mr Griffith-Jones acknowledged that the UK can, and is willing, to go it alone where appropriate, giving the Senior Manager Regime as an example.
Conduct will continue to be very important. The referendum result has not changed that. The challenge is for firms and their leaders to instil a culture that supports an ambition to remain the premier capital market in the world, something which, in his view, must involve putting customers first.