Will the UK Let the Light of Day Shine Into Its Regulatory Process


Should the regulators process be shrouded in mystery or should there be disclosure into the light of day? That is a question currently before authorities in London. As reported in the Financial Times (FT) column Inside Business, in a piece entitled “UK regulators must judge the right time to go public”, Brooke Masters reported that the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) cannot provide the public details about a matter under investigation “until its internal decision maker, the Regulatory Decisions Committee, has heard the allegations and the defence of the accused and come down in favour of enforcement action.” There is currently legislation in front of Parliament which would allow a newly constituted financial regulatory agency, the Financial Conduct Authority, to go public with “warning notices” before a case gets to the Regulatory Decisions Committee. Masters cites advocates of this legislation who “say this would make the UK more like the US, where the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] can make public charges it has filed with a judge or administrative proceeding.” Apparently representatives of British banking interests are desperately fighting to keep such proceeds secret.

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