In one of her final speeches as Chief Executive of the FCA, Tracey McDermott, has called for regulators to heed the lessons from the mishandling of the Hillsborough process.
Highlighting that the process of investigation can be just as important as the result, Ms McDermott went on to identify three key lessons which can be taken away from the Hillsborough inquiry:
- Justice: Ms McDermott stated that a culture of ‘them and us’ can be created from the strength and persistency of public anger towards those the public feel ‘got away with it’. Ms McDermott stresses that this can, in turn, have a degrading effect on public perception of investigation bodies, leading to a lack of confidence which, in the financial services sector, is paramount in order to keep the system working effectively and authentically.
- Transparency and speed: Ms McDermott stated that people need to know the facts in a timely manner in order to prevent rumours and mistrust building up. Collaboration between agencies in order to aid this process is key.
- Fairness: Ms McDermott highlighted that the role of the FCA is not to simply satisfy public opinion, but rather, the FCA must ‘divorce itself from the emotion, speculation and hyperbole’ in order to have a process which is objective, fair and rational to enable it to recommend appropriate conclusive actions. Ms McDermott believes that a failure to do so will fuel anger by those working in the industry, leading to the same kind of ‘them and us’ culture identified above, through a lack of perceived justice by industry workers.
Ms McDermott concluded her speech by stating that, listening to the views of those affected but then making objective and independent decisions based on facts, not emotion, regardless of any external pressures, will help rebuild the trust placed on the regulators.