UK - Tory leadership candidate Ken Clarke has condemned the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in its role as the UK's only financial regulatory body, and warned that the present system could damage the UK's financial culture.
Clarke said that although the current system was generally effective, having one “monster” regulatory body like the FSA was “anti-entrepreneurial, anti-business.”
“[The] level of regulation you impose should not be so high as to make your financial centre uncompetitive, to be damaging to your markets, to drive investment overseas and so on. And by and large in recent years we've more or less achieved that,” said Clarke.
He added: “On the other hand, there are dangers. I'm still not wildly enthusiastic about having one monster Financial Services Authority which could so easily acquire a culture of its own which eventually would become anti-entrepreneurial, anti-business.”
Clarke went on to say that the UK was “prone” to single issue lobbies and one-off financial disasters often meant a raft of fresh, and perhaps unnecessary legislation.
“We've avoided the worst of all that at the moment, but the dangers are all there and if I ever had a chance in office to influence it again I would slightly encourage the lighter touch, I think.”
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