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You wouldn’t have been able to dream this one up!!!

You wouldn’t have been able to dream this one up!!!

I would urge all readers to spend some time reading the Davis report on the activities and the abject surreal failure of the FCA in its handling of the information it gave to the Daily Telegraph, when the one of the FCA’s people chose to ‘inform’ them of what their ideas were in regards to Life Assurance.

Yes I know it’s not about day to day Insurance Broking but it shows not just warts and all, but an undeniable horrific litany of errors of the most senior management at the FCA

It’s on the Internet, under Davis Report and please don’t worry that it’s 213 pages long, just go to Chapter 4 which is 17 very easy to read pages, and makes it all very clear in glorious easy to read black and white!

The issue of ‘Quis Custodiat’ (who is guarding the guards) is something we all assumed was under control believing the Treasury Select Committee would be the final arbiter. But we can now officially forget that because it’s clear the inept, incompetent and inconceivably arrogant ways of the Regulator would appear to have no limits and there are no constraints on it at all.

I defy you not to read that chapter twice to make sure you weren’t dreaming it up.

We firmly believe in the need for a Regulator but not in the guise we have. I will stand up and make clear I have met Martin Wheatley and found him to be a great guy and supremely intelligent. Saying that, this fiasco will not go away because it exposed the non-existent systems and controls of the FCA at the highest levels. 

They literally have taken unilateralism and laissez faire to new levels, and as for seeing where they connect internally, one thing is for sure, there is a massive and very clear disconnect.

Insurance companies share prices lost £billions because of the way the FCA got things so wrong and whether or not they take action against the FCA is still open to question. For sure whatever UK firms do may not mean that American Investors will feel the same way; and if the Regulator is taken to Court who the hell is going to pay the penalties they incur?

Regulation is integral, of that there can be no doubt, but it should not be based on ‘Be afraid, be very afraid’ or ‘We will shoot first and ask questions later’. 

Regulation needs easy to understand rules that require little to no additional compliance advice, and to be set up in a way that is supportive of those it is regulating. The present setup is way too cosy and not subject to serious concern by the powers that be, possibly because they know all the rhetoric but have no clues as to what’s really going on.

What we have, has shown that bureaucrats alone cannot make up the rules alone or cut and paste what was applicable for banking and stick under an insurance banner. 

Those in charge need to have a full understanding of what they are involved with and be subject to serious questioning and scrutiny that may ultimately lead to disciplinary action. 

With Parliament winding up at the end of March and then the election come May, the mess that our regulation has become will be quietly kicked into the long grass and nothing will change. Except our esteemed regulators’ ability to generate even less respect. 

Perhaps it may well be a case that a full clear out at the top is required and members of the board can only take a seat at the table if they can show a respectable understanding of what Insurance is about. 

As for the regulations in issue, I would recommend a committee or the FCA and representative companies large and small, be set up with the sole object of reducing the amount in issue by 70% over a three year period. 

For every new rule that is created 5 must be removed. In that vein we do not spend all day wondering if we should be blinking let alone picking up the phone or looking over our shoulder to wonder if we are doing it right.  

3 years hence we may then be in a position where the cost of regulation is proportionate to the value it brings. 

I would urge all of you who read Chapter 4 of the David report and go to your representative bodies whoever they are, and ask who will pay if the FCA is sued by disgruntled investors? 

How can we, as regulated parties, presume that any area of the Regulators internal systems and controls are operating as they should? 

Perhaps the FCA needs a full CASS audit!?! 

What is important is that you are not fobbed off with patronising and ignorant clap trap, After all it was that vey approach which created the mess the FCA now finds itself in and all of us by default.

In a world where ‘Je Suis Charlie’ is not said by anyone to oppress, insult or upset, but to uphold the true values and understanding of free speech; we need to speak more openly about the failings of the Regulator we all pay for every working day so things change for the better.  

The mess that took place at the FCA, happened solely because arrogance and ignorance took over from simple common sense and that in the 21st century is just unbelievable. 

We must not let this farce be brushed under the carpet, kicked into the long grass or forgotten. 

The very notion of ‘lessons will be learned’ rings all too hollow because no one barring two people have gone and there is absolutely no sign that anything has changed.

Turkeys will never vote for Christmas that’s for sure, but paying customers are entitled to see value for money and at the moment that is not happening. Certainly the banking fines were a one off and were long overdue, but now we have a monolith that needs to be fully accountable, scrutinised and shrunk to ensure trust in its ability does not break down irretrievably.

Oh yes and Happy New Year by the way!!!