Regulators should ‘not interrupt’ industry flow: McDermott

Regulators should ‘not interrupt’ industry flow: McDermott

Financial regulators should “not interrupt the flow” of the industry according to the FCA’s Tracey McDermott.

The director of supervision, investment, wholesale and specialists was speaking at a British Bankers’ Association conference held in London on Friday.

During the speech Ms McDermott - who will be acting chief executive of the FCA when Martin Wheatley leaves in September - compared regulators with referees.

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She said: “Effective and proportionate regulation is a considerable strength of the UK economy.

“To steal an analogy from a colleague of mine. A good regulator should be like a good referee: constantly on the pitch, keeping up with what is going on, respected, firm, consistent and fair – and tough when required, but not interrupting the flow unnecessarily and being largely invisible to the spectators most of the time.”

She added that there would inevitably be winners and losers in finance but said the important thing is to make sure everyone plays by the same rules.

Mr Wheatley was told earlier this month he would not be reappointed to the FCA board after George Osborne, the chancellor of the Exchequer, said he wanted to seek a “new settlement” with the financial services industry.

Adviser view

Simon Mansell, director of Worcestershire-based Temple Bar, said: “Until this point, the game has been secondary to the referee and his or her rule book.”