Are the Financial Regulators Fit for Purpose?

Register for the event

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When

Thursday, January 28th from 6:00pm until 8:00pm, UK time

Where

Online symposium via Zoom.

Format

There'll be a great line-up of speakers plus ample scope for discussion and debate

Why you should attend

In the UK, for example, there really is cause for concern – the 2 recently published independent reports, by Dame Gloster (regarding the LCF bondholders scandal) and by Raj Parker (regarding the Connaught scandal) both point conclusively to extensive regulatory failure issues at the Financial Conduct Authority. 

Beyond that, there have been many other instances where investors have been harmed including, perhaps best known, the Woodford saga. All of this has left people wondering whether the FCA has got a grip on things; and it follows that similar questions need to be asked about what’s happening in other countries. Australia is of particular interest, because of the well-documented revelations of regulatory failure there. Subject-matter expert Dr. Andy Schmulow points to regulatory capture being part of the problem; and his input into a recent TTF regulatory consultation submission helps to explain why: 

“The capture of regulators by the industries they regulate is a recognised phenomenon world-wide. It affects all regulators of all industries. This is a problem, because capture prevents a regulator from serving the public interest. A notable recent example is the evidence of the capture of the FAA in the US by Boeing, leading to the precipitous certification of the Boeing 737 Max, which came to light in the aftermath of two catastrophic crashes.

Ultimately capture of a regulator does not serve the industry by which it has been captured either. Boeing’s losses from having to stall production and sales of the 737 Max, and the liability of Boeing to airlines that had to ground their 737 Max fleet, and the damage to Boeing’s reputation and sales of other Boeing aircraft, is many multiples greater than would have been the cost to Boeing of a credible certification process.

While regulators of all industries (health care, telecommunications, passenger aircraft, oil and gas etc.) are susceptible to capture, evidence from around the world indicates that regulators of the financial system are more susceptible to capture than regulators of any other industry. Financial regulators fall first, and they fall furthest.

Capture takes many forms across a spectrum. From outright bribery (as was the case in Indonesia before the Asian Crisis, and the collapse of the Indonesian banking sector) all the way to the other end of the spectrum: subtle and insidious forms of capture almost impossible to observe. For example, ideological capture. An example of ideological capture is where staff in a regulator believe that what is good for the banks is good for the country.”​

Naturally, this symposium is not simply about criticising for the sake of it – that doesn’t achieve anything. The purpose of this symposium is to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to share their thoughts on what the underlying issues that lead to regulatory failure are; and even more importantly to focus on what potential improvements can be made. We therefore want candid yet constructive dialogue on what should be done to fix what’s broken, if indeed anything is broken and does need fixing. 

The TTF believes that “progress begins with realism” so we most definitely want the truth to be brought to the surface and we are of very comfortable “speaking truth to power”; but please note that as always we’ll be asking attendees to be courteous and constructive, regardless of how strongly they feel about the issues and how angry they may be about what has happened to them.

This event is particularly important and particularly timely; especially as Parliamentarians in the UK are calling for a discussion about what it would take to make the FCA fit for purpose; see here.

We’ve got a first class line-up of speakers and as always, we’ll be asking attendees to be courteous and constructive, regardless of how strongly they feel about the issues. 

Here's the programme and timings so far...

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