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The Chief Executive of the FCA, Martin Wheatley, was in reflective mood as he spoke to the ICI Global Trading and Market Structure Conference*. Commenting that 2013 was a year in which the financial world moved on, in which the G20 ambitions were enshrined in regulation and in which a new regulatory structure took flight, Mr Wheatley said that it was now time to “begin to turn the page on a very difficult chapter in financial history.”
Martin Wheatley believes that this new chapter will require firms to step up to meet the two key challenges of cultural transition and technical transition. Technical transition means making sure that the “nuts and bolts of international regulatory reform” are in place to keep markets “deep and liquid”. Cultural transition will require the markets to publically demonstrate “that there is clear blue water between the past and future” and to move “to a more mature age where investor interests are front and centre of firm business models in the global markets.”
Repeating a previous theme, Martin Wheatley said that this cultural transition should not need more regulation but instead “a more sophisticated interpretation of integrity in business – one that is not simply defined by the ethics of obedience – so what is legally right or wrong – but actually looks towards the ethics of care and the ethics of reason.” To achieve this the FCA have been moving towards a regime which measures the way in which consumers are treated fairly and in which the business model delivers against the expectations of consumers.
Mr Wheatley concluded his speech by acknowledging that cultural and technical transition will be complex to achieve and to this end he highlighted the importance of organisations continuing to engage positively in the debate as they move into 2014.