Turner warns over costs of FSA shake-up

David Hellier
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FINANCIAL Services Authority (FSA) chairman Lord Adair Turner last night warned there would be transitional problems when the watchdog is disbanded and replaced.

“All operational demergers entail some costs as well as benefits, and some risk to current operations,” he said at his Mansion House Speech.

Turner assured his audience that within two years the City will have a structure that works well.

Chancellor George Osborne ordered a change in the City’s regulatory regime in June,
which will see banks overseen by a new Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) under
the auspices of the Bank of England.

There will also be a Consumer Protection and Markets Authority (CPMA) that will take
on many of the former functions of the FSA, which will be scrapped.

Turner said the FSA starts with integrated systems, support functions and supervisory teams and with some staff doing both prudential and conduct supervision.

He said the new structure would create problems between the PRA and the CPMA in several areas where the distinction between the two is not clear cut.

But he added there was a “clear programme” in place to manage the process, with ongoing costs expected to be no higher than for the integrated FSA.

Turner said the creation of a new Financial Policy Committee (FPC) would be crucial in spotting credit bubbles, and tougher capital requirements are needed. He said he wanted even tougher capital requirements for banks than those set by the new Basel III committee rules, which call for capital of at least seven per cent of their assets.

He added there was a need to move beyond the “demonisation of overpaid traders” to recognise that bad policies, not just bankers, were to blame for the financial crisis.