Wednesday, July 22, 2009

FSA Warns About Guaranteed Bonuses - WSJ.com

FSA Warns About Guaranteed Bonuses - WSJ.com: "'I would draw your attention to the fact that guaranteed bonuses which run for a period of more than one year may be inconsistent with effective risk management,' FSA Chief Executive Hector Sants said in a letter sent to chief executives of the largest firms in the financial-services industry. He noted that this would apply to all agreements entered into after the publication of its consultation paper in March."

Do "elitist" FSA staff have a guaranteed bonus as a percentage of salary?

FT.com / UK / Politics & policy - Plan to axe FSA spurs crime warning

FT.com / UK / Politics & policy - Plan to axe FSA spurs crime warning: "“Love it or hate it, the FSA performs a valuable function,” said Charles Evans, a lawyer at Norton Rose. “These things have to be done by someone.”

What else would we expect the "elitist" lawyers who feed on the financial services industry to say?


FSA insiders are said to be seething at the Tory proposals, which would see most of its powers to regulate and supervise financial institutions handed back to a beefed-up Bank of England."

What else would we expect the "elitist" regulators to say when they face an uncertain future?

Top professions 'operate closed shop to exclude the poor' - Times Online

Top professions 'operate closed shop to exclude the poor' - Times Online: "Mr Milburn said: “There is a chasm between where we are and where we need to be if Britain is to realise the social and economic benefits of huge potential growth in professional employment.
“Not everyone can be a doctor or a lawyer and not everyone will want to be. But those with ability and aptitude need a fair crack of the whip to realise their aspirations.”"

Mr Milburn and Mr Brown need only take a look at the elitist Financial Services Authority, no blacks please, no IFAs if you don't mind and certainly no non-Freemasons. The FSA is without doubt the most blatantly elitist government created quango of them all.

http://www.ifadu.co.uk/FSAgate.htm

Monday, July 20, 2009

Stress Test: FSA Exam for U.K. Regulators Isn’t So Stressful - Bloomberg.com

Stress Test: FSA Exam for U.K. Regulators Isn’t So Stressful - Bloomberg.com: "“Whether in substance it leads to better supervisory judgments, I’m not sure,” said McMahon. “The people who are best placed to make those judgments are people with years of experience, who’ve been round the block and know this inside out.”"


We couldn't agree more!

FT.com / UK / Business - FSA takes tougher line on regulation

FT.com / UK / Business - FSA takes tougher line on regulation: "“They don’t work. They don’t read. We send them stuff and we can tell that they haven’t read it,” says the chief executive of one midsized City institution.

Mr Nelson said: “There have been times when bankers may have questioned us but we have worked hard to improve the quality of our people through both training and recruitment.”"


Which party knows what they are talking about? My money isn't on the regulators for one reason, if they were any use they wouldn't be regulators!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

BBC NEWS | Politics | Osborne would scrap 'failed' FSA

BBC NEWS | Politics | Osborne would scrap 'failed' FSA: "Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne said: 'David Cameron and George Osborne can talk all they like about banking reform, but when it mattered, they showed their inexperience and called it wrong."


Mr Byrne needs to remember one thing, all the Bank of England regulators were moved to the FSA and they still allowed the banking system to fall in between the regulatory gap. The Financial Services Authority has too many fingers in too many pies to be aware of systemic risk in any particular financial sector and by the time action is taken it is too late, a bit like trying to divert or stop a supertanker.

You cannot have a 'one size fits all' style of regulation, the Financial Services Authority has a number of people proclaiming their intention to rid the markets of all manner of ills using a myriad of new 'initiatives' without any evidence of the perceived problems or any proof their solutions will work.

There are simple solutions to all these issues but vested interests, whether they be regulators or major financial institutions, will always succeed in their lobbying because money talks.

IFAs are worth listening to.

Friday, July 17, 2009

FT.com / Money - Fraud adds £44 a year to cost of insurance premiums

FT.com / Money - Fraud adds £44 a year to cost of insurance premiums: "The ABI also reported a rise in the number of claims which were dropped by consumers once insurers started asking them for more information."

Why can't the Financial Ombudsman Service ask for 'more information', a statement of truth for example, this what the Ombudsmen of Eire and the IOM do!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

FSA bans insurance broker and winds up firm - 15 July 2009

FSA bans insurance broker and winds up firm - 15 July 2009

FSA (nee SIB) was born in 1985, it has spent untold £billions while massive financial failures have occurred, banks, life offices, insurers and the entire banking system have fallen between the regulatory gaps.

Is this the best bit of news the Leviathan can produce at this late stage of its existence, its last supper?

FTAdviser.com - ICO will not appeal LAUTRO High Court ruling

FTAdviser.com - ICO will not appeal LAUTRO High Court ruling: "The wider implication of this is that we may now never know whether these offices paid compensation to those disadvantaged, since the FSA was unable to say whether it had checked up on those offices to see whether compensation had been paid."

The FSA's own definition of 'redress', 'compensation' or whatever you want to call it is to put 'consumers' back in the position they would have been had they not purchased the duff contract.

Out of the millions of contracts still in existence not one single policyholder has been compensated in compliance with regulatory requirements.

That is either failure on the part of the FSA to meet its statutory obligations which is negligence OR it is hiding its own errors which is tantamount to corruption.

But, we don't need any more hand grenades in the room.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ban on 100% home loans dropped | Money | The Observer

Ban on 100% home loans dropped | Money | The Observer: "There has been no widespread return of the 100%-plus loans offered in the boom, but mainstream lenders are now offering 90% deals, which virtually disappeared after the crash. These could be vulnerable in any crackdown on high-LTV mortgages, with some in the Treasury said to be initially advocating a maximum LTV of 85% or even 75%"

Politicians and their civil servants are good at knee-jerk reactions to perceived problems. The problem is that they are long gone by the time their acts or omissions have damaged the markets.

Question of the week: Should TV adverts promoting financial products be banned? | Money | The Observer

Question of the week: Should TV adverts promoting financial products be banned? | Money | The Observer: "What is offensive is that consumers are able to contact these advertisers directly and without comparison of other products."

That is a very good point, all too often the donkey takes the carrot without considering other options such as a whole bag of carrots available elsewhere. We have often been concerned by the quality of advertising and the inability (or unwillingness) of the Financial Services to take a look at adverts and, more importantly, what the journalists pass off as unregulated 'advice' which consumers often act upon to their detriment.

Clive Cowdery to bypass Friends Provident board and take £1.7bn bid to shareholders - Times Online

Clive Cowdery to bypass Friends Provident board and take £1.7bn bid to shareholders - Times Online: "Shares in British life insurers have fallen steeply this year amid concerns that falling equity markets and rising bond defaults could eat away at their solvency reserves."

Where did all the UK life offices with profit 'surpluses' go?

FT.com / Companies / Insurance - Resolution in takeover move for Friends

FT.com / Companies / Insurance - Resolution in takeover move for Friends: "Mr Cowdery and John Tiner, chief executive of the new Resolution and former head of the Financial Services Authority, would keep Trevor Matthews, the Friends chief, and his management team in place, according to one person familiar with the two men’s thinking."


Do the interests of the policholder feature in the "two men's thinking"? If similar deals are any measure of the effect on pension life and policies the time must have come for the Leviathan to wake up.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Banks with worst records on complaints to be exposed - Times Online

Banks with worst records on complaints to be exposed - Times Online: "For the first time, all big financial organisations will be compelled to publish complaint numbers, which will then be assembled by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) into a database that can be used to reveal the best and the worst in the industry."


Regulatory futility at its finest.

New companies have no legacy so will always appear 'cleaner' but that is no guarantee of satisfaction. This is all about forcing companies to pay up even when the claim has no merit. In some circles they would call it blackmail but the big firms will so as they are told simply because it isn't their money, is it?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

FT.com / Columnists / John Kay - Our banks are beyond the control of mere mortals

FT.com / Columnists / John Kay - Our banks are beyond the control of mere mortals: "The hapless four were criticised for their lack of banking expertise but it is, in fact, not clear what modern banking expertise is. The world of modern banking requires all the skills of these gentlemen, plus some others, and no one can expect to have all these attributes."

But you have to start somewhere, as with the regulators you need someone with relevant experience and qualifications. You can't have a man who once regulated gas overseeing the the banks can you? Would you go to a butcher to have your teeth looked at? No.

Calls to name and shame lenders profiting from repossession rejected - Telegraph

Calls to name and shame lenders profiting from repossession rejected - Telegraph: "A spokesman for the FSA said: 'It could harm their commercial interest by suggesting that everything the lender did was poor.'"


If they were IFAs they would be drummed out of the industry, yes publicly admonished, fined and banned. If it is a bank or insurer they get away with it every time. Biased or what?

Monday, July 6, 2009

The City doesn't need any more rules - Telegraph

The City doesn't need any more rules - Telegraph: "In any case, it would be possible right now to abandon all prudential regulation of the banking system, and the banks, chastened and profoundly weakened by the events of the past two years, would largely behave themselves. The markets are asserting their own disciplines, regardless of what regulators and politicians want."

Regulation is bust, no 30s style controls have worked, nor are they going to. Let markets work as they should, the survival of the fittest is the rule of nature and financial markets are no different to any other trading platform.

BBC NEWS | Business | City wrongdoers face bigger fines

BBC NEWS | Business | City wrongdoers face bigger fines: "In the last financial year the FSA imposed a record £27.3m in fines, up from just £4.4m the year before."

It desperately needs the money, make no mistake, things can only get worse.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Lord Turner's FSA review asks the wrong people the wrong questions - Telegraph#postacomment&postingId=5753073

Lord Turner's FSA review asks the wrong people the wrong questions - Telegraph#postacomment&postingId=5753073: "the Treasury Select Committee should set up a committee of knowledgeable people (untainted by recent events) with a brief to look at the Turner Review, and to make recommendations to the Treasury Select Committee"

Are there any knowledgeable people (untainted by recent events)?

The regulations were, and are, the problem, too many gaps, too old a concept, to biased a system.

What Tony forgets is that 100% of the board of the FSA is appointed by HM Treasury, the system itself, from the top down, has failed. Regulation run by politicians is bust.

The Press Association: Darling condemns 'kamikaze' bankers

The Press Association: Darling condemns 'kamikaze' bankers: "He said: 'We need to learn lessons from the financial crisis in which banks behaved in a kamikaze manner and the regulatory system failed."


Who will "learn lessons from the financial crisis"? The regulators? Unlikely, the FSA has been around since 1985, just take a look at the financial services landscape to find out how much has been "learned".

The bankers were never harmed so they were not behaving in a kamikaze manner were they?

Yes the regulatory system failed, what can you do about it when it is bust, not fit for purpose?

Clive Cowdery plans £11bn insurance empire - Times Online

Clive Cowdery plans £11bn insurance empire - Times Online: "The tycoon, who made more than £100m selling his first vehicle to Pearl Assurance last year, is preparing to go on a buying spree that would see him put together several large UK life insurers and eventually own up to a third of the sector, which is valued at about £35 billion."

That's the end of competition then, and the end of all the dreams and asprirations of policyholders, and their unfortunate advisers. What is the Financial Services Authority going to do about this? Not a lot because John Tiner is involved and a few more rats might be leaving the sinking HMS Leviathan and looking for lucrative jobs, er.. that reminds me, where did David Kenmir go?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Chief ombudsman to step down

Chief ombudsman to step down: "'Walter Merricks leaves the Ombudsman Service as a fair and established dispute resolution service which is about to become more transparent still through the publication of data about complaints.'"


If what the High Court judge said recently is any indication after 10 years of ignoring the law and FSA rules he may soon discover that the big wheel does still turn and your sin does find you out. But it will too late for many.