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Banks, Insurers Urge U.K. Markets Watchdog to Be Predictable

Regulated financial firms urged the month-old Financial Conduct Authority to open better lines of communication with the industry and implement rules in a predictable manner.

The FCA should be “proportionate and predictable in its approach” said Graham Beale, chairman of the FCA Practitioner Panel, a group that monitors regulatory developments and includes representatives from Barclays Plc, London Stock Exchange Group Plc and Direct Line Insurance Group Plc, in a survey published today.

The FCA on April 1 took over the market abuse and consumer finance enforcement duties from the Financial Services Authority, which was phased out by lawmakers who blamed it for failing to prevent the financial crisis in 2008. Around 80 percent of senior finance executives surveyed by the panel said they wanted the FCA to be clearer on regulatory changes than its predecessor.

“As the FCA, we have changed our approach and the way we regulate, and we are becoming a more forward-looking, predictable and engaged regulator which acts from a position of greater understanding of the industry,” Martin Wheatley, chief executive officer of the FCA, said in an e-mailed statement.

The survey also found that only around a quarter of the 1,470 respondents thought the FCA would be able to promote competition in financial services.

“There is still a lack of clarity in the sector about how exactly the FCA will work, especially in areas where the FCA has an extended remit compared with what the FSA was tasked to do,” Ian Michael of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, said in an e-mailed statement.

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