SIB prepares to simplify rules
Thursday 05 October 1995
The head of Britain's most senior financial watchdog yesterday signalled a move away from heavy-handed regulation in return for greater information disclosure by companies.
Andrew Large, chairman of the Securities and Investments Board, announced a fresh round of talks with the industry's more junior watchdogs to map out a new, simplified approach to regulation.
He also backed moves to end the present system, called polarisation, whereby advisers must either sell the products of just one company or be prepared to choose from the industry's entire range.
Mr Large argued that if more financial information were available, there could be a "disclosure dividend" both for investors and the industry.
But his comments drew a cool response from other regulators last night. One, who refused to be named, said: "I think he is trying to placate some of the insurance companies who have been lobbying for less controls of their sales activities. It all seems like a recipe for even more navel- gazing."
Mr Large, who was speaking at the Britannia Caledonian financial services lecture in Glasgow, said the benefits of financial disclosure were already apparent in the wholesale markets, including Eurobonds and derivatives. As a result, more overseas firms were choosing to base in the UK.
He argued that had more information been available, it might have been possible to forestall recent financial scandals, including the Barings merchant bank collapse in January.
He claimed that long-running problems in the retail financial sector had also been caused by companies' unwillingness to disclose information about their products. "When, sadly, investors were let down by advisers they were entitled to trust there was little prospect they would themselves spot something was amiss. I need hardly tell you what sort of problems the industry faces as a result.
"Some might accuse me in raising these points again of being too far ahead at a time when important issues still need to be addressed. For example, can we realistically alter the regime whilst the pension-transfer issues have yet to be addressed? I acknowledge that is a difficulty. But, we need to start thinking about the future.''
Phillip Thorpe, chief executive of Imro, the investment managers' watchdog, said: "Discloure is ... important but its capacity to be the universal panacea, particularly at the retail end, must be in doubt."
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
- 5 Zayn Malik quits One Direction: Hundreds of workers request compassionate leave following band member's exit
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Amanda Knox murder conviction: Italian court overturns verdict for US student and Raffaele Sollecito in the killing of Meredith Kercher
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...
£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...