SuperSIB snubs City by plumping for Docklands 600w

SuperSIB, the City's mega watchdog, will not be located in the Square Mile. It has told 2,000 staff how to get to its proposed new office in London's Docklands - but failed to name the senior figures who will report to new chairman, Howard Davies. Tom Stevenson, Financial Editor, reports.

SuperSIB snubbed the City yesterday, choosing a building in Docklands to house the enlarged financial regulator from the start of next year. The move, greeted with resigned acceptance by the staff of the new City watchdog, is a big blow to the Corporation of London, which was unable to provide a large enough building quickly or cheaply enough.

The decision came as senior regulators admitted privately that there had been a delay in naming senior appointments to the watchdog, leaving the heads of the self-regulatory organisations on tenterhooks as to whether they would have a place in the new regime.

The decisions, expected this week, will not receive approval from the Chancellor's office for another two weeks it has been estimated.

The delay is an embarrassment for Mr Davies just days after Colette Bowe, head of the Personal Investment Authority (PIA), indicated she did not want to be considered for any of the senior positions to be filled. It is also not clear how keen others such as Imro's Phillip Thorpe or the SFA's Richard Farrant will be to exchange control of their fiefdoms for a lieutenant's position in the new monolith.

There are further concerns about how successful a new structural model for the new watchdog will be. Mr Davies is pushing through a radical shift from a vertical structure, where regulators control all functions from authorisation to investigations and supervision for one type of firm, to a horizontal model where they will oversee, say, authorisation for all financial companies.

NewRO, as the regulator will be known until a suitable acronym has been agreed, is moving to the last vacant building in the Canary Wharf development, built by the Reichmann brothers at the height of the last property boom and rescued from receivership in 1992. The decision was taken by a meeting of the board of the Securities and Investments Board on Thursday.

A spokesman for the Corporation of London said there was "obvious disappointment" at the decision, which means the unified regulator for activities in the Square Mile will not be located there. He added, however, that the decision was in part a reflection of the City's success - there is simply no accommodation left in the City big enough to satisfy SuperSIB's requirements for around 300,000 sq ft of space to house its 2,000 employees.

The Corporation played down any suggestion that past disagreements between the City and Docklands had flared again over the move. "We are happy that Docklands is there. If it had not been, and if the City had not relaxed its building regulations when it did in the 1980s many firms would have simply moved away to the Continent."

Staff at the various regulators that are dotted around the City and Docklands, and which will be folded into SuperSIB next year, were informed yesterday of the decision and supplied with information packs in an attempt to allay fears that they were being asked to move to the south-east's own version of Siberia.

Howard Davies said: "After an exhaustive search, we have concluded that Canary Wharf offers the best available accommodation for us. The space is flexible, the price is right and, crucially, we can put all our staff together on one site in just a year's time."

NewRO will take on the regulatory responsibilities of a range of watchdogs, including the Bank of England, SIB, Imro, the PIA, SFA and DTI. The combining of the regulators will take place next year despite Royal Assent for a new Financial Services Act not being possible for two more years.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Reach Volunteering: Trustees with Finance, Fundraising and IT skills

Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses reimbursable: Reach Volunteering: St...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent