CharlesStan boss attacks regulation

CHARLES Stanley chairman Sir David Howard yesterday railed against the “Monty Python-esque” barrage of new regulation hitting the independent stockbroking sector, even as the firm reported a 33 per cent surge in pre-tax profit for the half year.

Howard, an ex-Lord Mayor of the City of London, said new measures introduced by the FSA are excessively blunt, without the finesse necessary to ensure new regulation is appropriate to every corner of the industry.

“The political pressure on the FSA means they are stretching the new rules far beyond a sensible level,” he said. “It’s a death wish on the part of the UK to make us less competitive.”

Howard said extending the new remuneration code to independent fund managers and stockbrokers did not take into account their business models, which are entirely different to those at large investment banks.

Stockbrokers and fund managers are also having to devote an increasing amount of time and energy to jumping through hoops on new capital and liquidity standards, he said.

Charles Stanley itself delivered a solid performance over the first half, growing pre-tax profits by a third to £7.3m and revenue by seven per cent to £59.7m, thanks to a jump in income at its private client division.