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Monday, July 20, 2009

Dead Man Walking

The Tories have promised to abolish the hapless and hopeless Financial Services Authority (FSA) when, as seems likely, they win the next election.

The FSA was set up by Gordon Brown in 1997, as part of his much derided and failed tripartite regulatory scheme. It has had many "triumphs" since inception, eg:

- standing up for the life assurance industry against the hapless consumers who were conned into buying worthless endowment mortgages

- allowing the board of Northern Rock to destroy the company

- allowing RBS to come to edge of ruin

- allowing banks and credit card companies to charge extortionate rates of interest

- allowing banks, credit card companies and loan companies to sell ineffective and over priced PPI

- standing by as the banks operated the world's largest Ponzi scheme (bundling and selling worthless debt in a frenzy of greed)

- allowing the banks and mortgage companies to push Britain into an unsupportable level of consumer debt

More generally asleep at the wheel, and lacking any real pro active energy, the FSA will not be missed by the consumer; but may well be by its paymasters in the financial services industry (whom the FSA stood up for on numerous occasions).

Responsibility for regulation of the financial markets will be given to the Bank of England, and a new consumer protection agency will be created with the necessary "clout" to make sure the public were treated fairly.

Not before time!

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