Banks Must Take Responsibility for Own Conduct, FCA Head Says

  • FCA Chairman Griffith-Jones says banks must help meet goals
  • FCA head responds to comments from Chancellor George Osborne

The U.K. financial services industry must take responsibility for delivering on government ambitions to have the “highest standards of conduct” in the world instead of leaving it to regulators to uphold standards, the head of the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority said.

It is the FCA’s job to make sure U.K. financial services are the best regulated but it cannot be responsible for conduct, the FCA’s John Griffith-Jones said in London Tuesday, in response to a June speech by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.

"The FCA accepts" the challenge to ensure that the U.K.’s financial institutions are the best regulated, Griffith-Jones said at a conference about trust in banking held by the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. "It is for the industry to deliver" on conduct.

Osborne’s speech marked a change in tone from the government. It indicated a willingness to pull back on regulation, and he declared the era of banker bashing was over.

The “knee-jerk response to something going awry is always to make another rule,” Griffith-Jones said. “Rules have their place but prevention and working together is an infinitely better way of running this industry.”

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