Tuesday, June 22, 2010

UK Abolishes FSA, Its SEC: Should The US Abolish Its SEC?

The UK is abolishing and replacing its current system of financial services regulation, including its less than a decade old Financial Services Authority, for failing to properly supervise and prevent the financial crisis.

The Bank of England (our Federal Reserve equivalent) will supervise and regulate the safety and soundness issues of all financial services entities, including insurance. A separate consumer protection agency will exist and an independent committee under the Bank of England will be formed with the responsibility for preventing and stopping threats to economic and financial stability.

From the June 16, 2010, speech by The Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Rt Hon George Osborne MP:
What we are proposing is a new system of regulation that learns the lessons of the greatest banking crisis in our lifetime.

I can confirm that the Government will abolish the tripartite regime, and the Financial Services Authority will cease to exist in its current form.

We will create a new prudential regulator, which will operate as a subsidiary of the Bank of England.

It will carry out the prudential regulation of financial firms, including banks, investment banks, building societies and insurance companies.

We will create an independent Financial Policy Committee at the Bank, which will have the tools and the responsibility to look across the economy at the macro issues that may threaten economic and financial stability and take effective action in response.

We will also establish a powerful new Consumer Protection and Markets Authority.

It will regulate the conduct of every authorised financial firm providing services to consumers.

It will also be responsible for ensuring the good conduct of business in the UK’s retail and wholesale financial services, in order to preserve our reputation for transparency and efficiency as well as our position as one of the world’s leading global financial centres.

I can also confirm that we will fulfil the commitment in the coalition agreement to create a single agency to take on the work of tackling serious economic crime that is currently dispersed across a number of Government departments and agencies.

We take white collar crime as seriously as other crime and we are determined to simplify the confusing and overlapping responsibilities in this area in order to improve detection and enforcement.

I have thought longer and harder and spoken to more people about all these issues than almost any other issue to have crossed my desk.

We do not undertake these reforms lightly, and we do so only because we believe they are absolutely necessary.

We will handle the transition carefully, consult widely and get this right.

The process will be completed in 2012.

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