, , , , , ,

FCA plans certification rollout to all financial services firms

notes-1199516_1920
The Financial Conduct Authority, the City’s regulatory authority, has outlined a proposed expansion of its Senior Managers & Certification Regime (SM&CR).

The proposals will extend the FCA’s rules to all financial services firms, and a consultation period on the 312-page document is open until November. It aims to “reduce harm to consumers and strengthen market integrity by making individuals more accountable for their conduct and competence”, according to the authority.

“Culture and governance in financial services and its impact on consumer outcomes is a priority for the FCA,” explained Jonathan Davidson, Executive Director of Supervision – Retail and Authorisations. “The extension of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime is key to driving forward culture change in firms.

“This is about individuals, not just institutions. The new conduct rules will ensure that individuals in financial services are held to high standards, and that consumers know what is required of the individuals they deal with. The regime will also ensure that senior managers are accountable both for their own actions, and for the actions of staff in the business areas that they lead.”

, ,

VIDEO: How having your own business is like never working a day in your life

Nick Wheeler video
Nick Wheeler, Chief Executive and founder of Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts

Ruraidh Conlon O’Reilly speaks with entrepreneur Nick Wheeler about the “constantly changing” entrepreneurial landscape.

Successful businessman Wheeler was in Dublin to speak with guests at the KPMG Inspire Series, which features guest speakers from across the business spectrum, from leading entrepreneurs to venture capital and business leadership and management experts.

Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts is a leading UK shirts and menswear maker, which has taken the traditional retail model and added a highly successful online presence, quickly becoming one of Europe’s leading online retailers.

The full interview with Wheeler will be available over the coming weeks.

, , , , , ,

Britain ‘weary’ of austerity, says Hammond in Mansion House speech

pexels-photo
British voters have tired of austerity and the health of the UK’s economy depends on the outcome of Brexit negotiations, UK chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond said in his Mansion House speech on Tuesday.

The annual event, delayed due to last week’s Greenfell Tower disaster, saw the chancellor lean towards a ‘soft’ Brexit with economic matters to the fore.

“Britain is weary after seven years of hard slog repairing the damage of the great recession,” said Hammond. “Funding for public services can only be delivered in one of three ways: higher taxes; higher borrowing; or stronger economic growth. And only one of those three choices is a long-term sustainable solution for this country in the face of the inexorable pressure of an ageing population.”

Hammond addressed Brexit in milder terms than he did on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show in which he said “no deal would be a very, very bad outcome for Britain” on Sunday.

“The future of our economy is inexorably linked to the kind of Brexit deal that we reach with the EU,” he said yesterday.

“Our departure from the EU is underway. But ensuring that it happens via a smooth pathway to a deep and special future partnership with our EU neighbours, one that protects jobs, prosperity, and living standards in Britain, will require every ounce of skill and diplomacy that we can muster.

“Yesterday was a positive start. It will get tougher. But we are ready for the challenge,” he said.

Brexit negotiations, led by Brexit secretary David Davis and EU negotiator Michel Barnier, opened in Luxembourg on Monday.

, , , , , ,

No ‘rationalisation’ at Vauxhall, says Business Secretary

vauxhall-1838873_1920
UK Business Secretary Greg Clarke has claimed that GM-owned carmaker Vauxhall’s UK future is secure.

“There is some way to go in discussions between GM and PSA but I was reassured by GM’s intention, communicated to me, to build on the success of these operations rather than rationalise them,” he said having met General Motors president Dan Ammann amid reports of a sale of Vauxhall and Opel to the parent company of Peugeot and Citroen.

“We will continue to be in close contact with GM and PSA in the days and weeks ahead,” said Clark.

GM was more cautious in its announcement: “While we have no definitive news to report at this time, we can affirm that our objective in exploring opportunities with PSA Group is to build on the success of Opel Vauxhall and to put the business and the operations in the strongest possible position for the future. We look forward to engaging with our stakeholders as part of these ongoing discussions,” it said.

The proposed deal is facing union opposition and political uncertainty, with details of the plan still thin after news of takeover talks emerged earlier this week.

Finance firms commit to the 30%

women-finance-web
UK finance firms look to address the number of senior roles filled by women
(Bloomberg)

A number of large U.K. financial firms pledged to have almost a third of senior roles filled by women within five years as part of a government-backed drive to boost their ranks in an industry traditionally dominated by men.

Out of 72 firms that signed the government’s Women in Finance Charter in July, 60 committed on Tuesday to have 30 percent of senior roles filled by women by 2021, according to a statement from the U.K. Treasury. Thirteen organizations, including Legal & General Group Plc and Virgin Money Holdings UK Plc, are aiming for an even split between men and women among their highest ranks.

Virgin Money Chief Executive Officer Jayne-Anne Gadhia led a government-backed review that found women made up only 14 percent of financial services firms’ executive committees. The review, which was published earlier this year, recommended creating the voluntary charter, which asks firms to publish annual progress reports on their efforts boosting women in finance.

“Too few women get to the top and many don’t progress as quickly as they should,” Prime Minister Theresa May said in the e-mailed statement. “The U.K. is a world leader in financial services, but the sector could do even better if it made the most of many talented women who work in finance.”

Financial services has the widest pay gap between genders of any industry, with women making about 60 pence for every pound a man receives, according to the Treasury. All of the largest U.K.-based lenders and many major asset management firms have signed on to the charter.

As part of the charter, established by the Treasury, firms also agreed to make an individual executive responsible for the company’s commitments. The finance ministry said 20 firms named their CEOs as the person accountable for progress against their targets. The charter also commits financial-services firms to link the remuneration packages of their executive teams to gender diversity targets.

 Reporting by Richard Partington
,

Treasury Minister Jim O’Neill resigns

jim-oneill-web
Former Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neill steps down from finance ministry role

reutersforweb
LONDON, Sept 23 (Reuters) – High-profile British Treasury Minister Jim O’Neill, a former Goldman Sachs chief economist, has resigned from his role at the country’s finance ministry, the government said on Friday.

O’Neill is a member of the unelected upper house of parliament and worked in the finance ministry as Commercial Secretary, with responsibilities including infrastructure policy and promoting Britain as a source of foreign direct investment.

The Financial Times reported in July that O’Neill could quit his post over new Prime Minister Theresa May’s approach to Chinese investment which appeared less welcoming than that of her predecessor David Cameron.

One of the areas that O’Neill worked on was the Northern Powerhouse project to improve infrastructure in northern England and which was aimed at attracting investment from China.

In his resignation letter to May, O’Neill said the case for the project to be “at the heart of British economic policy is even stronger following the referendum, and I am pleased that, despite speculation to the contrary, both appear to be commanding your personal attention.”

(Writing by William Schomberg; editing by Stephen Addison)

Copyright(c) Thomson Reuters 2016.