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Senior financial services executives concerned that FSA clampdown

Senior financial services executives concerned that FSA clampdown is harming UK’s international competitiveness says Interim Partners

Senior financial services staff are increasingly worried that the FSA’s post credit crunch regulatory clampdown has gone too far reveals research by Interim Partners, the number one provider of interim managers to the private sector.

36% of senior managers and directors from the UK’s financial services sector surveyed by Interim Partners said that they thought the FSA’s regulatory clampdown was now harming the UK’s competitiveness.

Andrew McIntee, Director of Financial Services at Interim Partners, comments: “The FSA has been attacked by critics for being too lax before the credit crunch and now the financial services industry is concerned that the FSA is being too intrusive.”

The FSA has trebled the value of fines it has collected from financial services businesses over the last year from &pound33.1m to &pound96.7m (year to March 31 2011).

The average number of days it takes the FSA to approve a regulated firm’s expansion plans has also risen from 35.5 days to over 80 days (year to September 30 2010).

Senior executives were also sceptical as to whether the Government’s shakeup of the UK’s regulatory system would help.

41% of those senior executives polled said that the forthcoming replacement of the FSA will not lead to better regulatory oversight and only 45% of executives said that the new regulatory structure is the most effective option.

Says Andrew McIntee: “Businesses will have to spend a lot of money to adapt to the new regulatory system but they are not persuaded that the changes will result in better regulation.”

“Neither the Government or the FSA is going to please all of the people all of the time but we have to be careful in the UK not to drive business overseas by taking the post credit crunch reaction to extremes.”

“The reality is that the UK’s economy is still very dependent on the success of the financial services sector. Other international business centres like New York and Singapore are competing very hard for the same institutions that London needs to locate here”.

Senior financial services executives surveyed said that the areas of regulation with the biggest cost impact on businesses for the lowest returns in terms of consumer protection, criminal deterrence and financial stability were:

Having the FSA authorise business plans and key personnel (40%)

Transaction reporting to the FSA (20%)

Anti-money laundering reporting obligations (16%)

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