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Monday, March 07, 2011

FSA Dithers and Delays

The publication of the long awaited whitewash report by the FSA into RBS, originally intended to be published this March, has been delayed until at least April.

Unsurprisingly no one is happy with this delay, as it clearly makes the report look like even more of a whitewash and the FSA all but complicit in that whitewash.

The Sunday Telegraph adds weight to the increasing clamour for the FSA to come clean about this whitewash, by reporting that many current and former RBS managers have not been contacted by the FSA as part of its "investigation", despite their intimate knowledge of how the bank had been run.

Why would that be?

Does the FSA not know how to conduct an investigation, or was it trying to "investigate lite"?

Even more damning is the the Sunday Telegraph's assertion that Sir Fred "The Shred" Goodwin was only interviewed once by FSA officials, and even then only on broad issues and not the specifics of the bank's failure.

It seems that the FSA did not have "proper processes", according to one former senior Treasury adviser interviewed by the Telegraph.

The beleaguered and failed regulatory body, the FSA, has managed through further ineptitude to dig itself (as if that could be possible) deeper into the mire.

Having steadfastly refused to publish its report into RBS (the report that exonerated the directors and company of any wrongdoing), it then agreed (under intense pressure) to publish a heavily redacted version of the report.

Good enough?

Not really:

1 The report will be heavily redacted.

2 It won't be published until at least April.

The FSA really doesn't get it, and is demonstrating why it has become an irrelevancy.

Impressed so far?

I'm not!

However, this litany of incompetence does not not end here. The FSA exoneration of the RBS board may in fact be nonsense, and that the investigation nothing more than an incompetent whitewash.

For why?

WikiLeaks have published a cable that summaries a meeting between Sir Philip Hampton, the new chairman of RBS, and 3 US politicians.

During the meeting Sir Philip allegedly noted that he thought that the previous RBS had failed to live up to their "fiduciary duties", and did not conduct adequate due diligence before buying part of ABN Amro in 2007.

That hardly fits in with the FSA whitewash that exonerates the previous board.

Could someone please tell me why the FSA is still in existence?

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