Financial Services and Markets Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


APPENDIX 22

Memorandum by Barclays PLC

  I write on behalf of Barclays PLC pursuant to your Press Notice No. 2, dated 10 March 1999. I would like to thank you for giving us an opportunity to submit written evidence to you.

  As you may be aware, we have also previously submitted a response to the Treasury Select Committee, and understand that you have access to such material. We thought you might find it helpful if we let you have a more focused version of this material. The enclosed submission therefore focuses on the following areas where our response is summarised (not printed):

1. PROPOSED ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE ACCOUNTABILITY OF THE FSA

  We believe that the Bill should provide adequately for the scrutiny of the Annual Report both through Parliament and through an external audit process—in the latter case as part of the preparation of the Annual Report.

2. PROPOSED STATUTORY OBJECTIVES AND PRINCIPLES OF THE FSA

  We broadly welcome these as they should enhance the accountability of the FSA. However, we are not clear how they relate to one another and how conflicts of priority between the different objectives may be resolved.

3. DISCIPLINE, ENFORCEMENT AND THE TRIBUNAL

  We have a number of concerns regarding the disciplinary measures contained in Part XII of the Bill. These primarily relate to the transparency and fairness of the investigation procedure and the interaction with the FSA's powers to institute proceedings under clause 215. The FSA has moved some way in recognising these concerns since our submission to the Treasury Select Committee in November 1998.

4. SCOPE OF THE NEW REGIME

  We support the Government's decision to allow the self-regulatory approach to the new mortgage code time to bed down before resorting to a statutory regime.

5. OMBUDSMAN AND COMPENSATION SCHEME

  We broadly welcome such schemes although we are unsure as to their application and funding. We enclose a copy of our recent letter to the British Bankers Association.

6. MARKET ABUSE

  We believe that the current draft needs much re-thinking and re-drafting to take account of the overlaps with the existing law. There is a significant danger that, as currently drafted, the provisions will do little to protect confidence in the integrity of relevant markets and will add much in the way of confusion and complexity.

23 March 1999


 
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