By Nigel Somerville | Friday 20 December 2019
Andrew Bailey, head of the scandal-ridden FCA, has been named as the new Guv’nor of the Bank of England, replacing Mark Carney of ‘Project Fear’ infamy from next March. Apparently he is steady under fire, which I suppose is a good attribute although given that he has been steady under fire over at the FCA in the face of scandal after scandal essentially because the FCA was asleep at the wheel with regard to Neil Woodford, the mini-bond scandal and a host of other slippages (not to mention sloppages) it would perhaps be better to appointment someone who does not offer a history of self-inflicted wounds.
The happier news is that the FCA will now have to find a new head honcho and there is the faintest possibility that it will find someone who will not be asleep at the wheel. Tom Winnifrith, anyone?
The Woodford scandal showed what the FCA does best: ignore the problem, ignore all the warnings even from its equivalent organisation in Guernsey (it, ahem, “lost” the phone call….and the dog ate its homework) and then tried to blame everybody else and the lack of rules. Tosh! There were plenty of rules, it just ignored all the warnings of what would happen.
And with the mini-bond scandal it once again locked the stable door after the horse had bolted. Indeed, we could go all the way back to Quindell when in the face of a huge dossier from Tom Winnifrith it still did nothing until forced by events. And then withdrew again, handing responsibility over to the serious fraud office.
And there have been numerous complaints from the ShareProphets team which have simply been ignored.
Clearly Mr Bailey’s record speaks for itself. He is cool under pressure and will blame anyone and everyone else. It is nothing to do with him.
And now, with BoE proposals to impose new regulations on the unit trust industry, he can carry on being cool under pressure following the next crisis, whether that be another financial scandal or just problems in the toilets.
Good luck, Mr Bailey – I hope you won’t need it.
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