Outlook: Roll up for derisory pay

"Long hours, derisory pay, but high interest quotient". Here's a job offer most City folk won't find hard to resist. So desperate has Howard Davies, chairman of the Financial Services Authority, become in his search for suitably qualified practictioners to fill key positions at the new City regulator, that he's written directly to firms appealing to men of decency and honour to step forward and do their duty.

Unfortunately, these are not the sort of jobs most people would want to take a pay cut to fill. Mr Davies has already attracted some big names from the capital markets and financial services industry to the main board of the FSA, but those positions are part time, non executive and prestigious - a good thing to have on the old CV. The ones he's now trying to fill are a couple of levels down, the anonymous hard grafters, not quite the foot soldiers but not much above senior officer rank either.

Regulators have always found it hard to attract employees from the other side of the fence, though there are notable exceptions. Andrew Winckler, chief executive of the SFA's forerunner, the SIB, is one, as is his head of the markets and exchanges group, David Pritchard. Both of them came from the City. But on the whole it's a one street with the signs pointing very clearly towards the glistening streets of the City. The Bank of England's supervision department has been a constant and happy hunting ground for the City's much more highly paid risk management positions.

The FSA obviously needs experienced practitioners if it is adequately to understand the often highly complex nature of the markets and businesses it has to regulate. Moreover, it is plainly in the City's interests that these positions be filled by people who understand what the City's about. There is little that could be more dangerous to the City's continuing prosperity than ignorant, hostile and overly onerous regulation.

The obvious solution is that of secondment. Plainly there are drawbacks to this approach. The risk of regulatory capture, where the regulator becomes tamed by the industry, is higher if the regulator is staffed by industry placemen on two year secondments than if peopled by those prepared to cross the fence permanently. All the same, the secondment system is said to work well for the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US. There a stint at the SEC is regarded as an essential stamp on your passport to the top. The FSA needs to aspire to similar status.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy as ECB finally wield the axe
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
film
News
news... you won't believe how bad their skills were
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Finance Manager

Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Sheridan Maine: Regulatory Reporting Accountant

Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manager - (communications, testing, DM)

£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...

Guru Careers: Finance Account Manager

£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas