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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

FSA Asleep At The Wheel - As Per Usual

Yet again Britain's hapless Financial Services Authority (FSA) has been found to be asleep at the wheel.

It transpires that way back in 2005, the FSA was warned by Tony Shearer (CEO of Singer & Friedlander Group) not to give the go-ahead for the Icelandic bank Kaupthing's acquisition of Singer & Friedlander.

For why?

In Shearer's view the management of Kaupthing were not "fit and proper" to control a British bank.

Mr Shearer will repeat these allegations to the Treasury Select Committee tomorrow, and tell the committee that the FSA rushed through the approval of the change of control.

Kaupthing recently hit the headlines when it was nationalised by the Icelandic Government, after the UK Treasury seized Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander to protect the interests of depositors and taxpayers.

The FSA deny Mr Shearer's version of events. They are quoted in The Times:

"In such circumstances the FSA always conducts checks and only approves the change [of control] if we are satisfied our requirements will be met. In this instance, we do not believe the statement made to the Treasury Select Committee represents an accurate summary of the events."

The trouble is this is but one of a long list of instances whereby the FSA has been found to be asleep at the wheel (eg Northern Rock, endowment compensation, PPI, bank charges etc)

The FSA:

- Hopeless
- Hapless
- Useless
- Toothless

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