FSA chief in attack on City of London

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The Independent Online

The City watchdog yesterday launched a broadside against bankers saying they were unwilling to make the neccessary changes to prevent a repeat of the financial crisis.

Hector Sants, chief executive of the Financial Services Authority, said in a speech yesterday: "It is important to recognise that the Financial Services Authority will not presume that the firms we supervise have learned the lessons of the past.

"There remains, I believe, an absence of acceptance of collective responsibility for what has happened. I personally remain unconvinced that all senior management have taken on board the need to change and operate in a genuinely different manner."

Mr Sants was speaking amid mounting anger at the behaviour of banks which have continued to pay huge bonuses despite receiving multi-billion pound bail outs from the tax payer.

Mr Sants said the FSA, which has itself faced criticism for a lack of action during the financial crisis, had introduced a number of reforms. But he argued that there was a limit to what it could do. "Real reform requires both change to the regulatory rules and change to the industry's culture," he said. The Conservatives have pledged to abolish the FSA if they form the next government but Mr Sants said it would be dangerous to lose its experience.