Watchdog staff set for exodus

David Hellier
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SENIOR staff at the City&rsquo;s Financial Services Authority (FSA) have complained that shadow chancellor George Osborne&rsquo;s determination to downgrade the organisation if a Conservative government is elected next year has seriously affected its ability to hire key people and has damaged morale.<br /><br />&ldquo;External people have withdrawn suddenly from job applications,&rdquo; said one FSA staffer, citing the uncertainty over the future of the watchdog.<br /><br />Internally, senior staff at the watchdog have spent an increasing amount of time reassuring staff that there should be a future for them however the new regulatory framework is divided.<br /><br />&ldquo;Clearly as the future of the FSA has come up the political agenda staff have been concerned about their futures,&rdquo; one staffer said.<br /><br />FSA sources also say that Osborne&rsquo;s plan to revamp regulation has also undermined the authority&rsquo;s credibility when it comes to negotiating in Europe over the future of financial regulation.<br /><br />Osborne argues the FSA has failed to prevent the recent banking crisis and he will outline details today on how he plans to disband it, handing supervisory power over banking to the Bank of England.<br />