04.08.2014
By Terry Flanagan

FCA Pushes for International Cooperation

John Griffith-Jones, chairman of the UK Financial Conduct Authority, said international cooperation between regulators had improved since the crisis but still needs to be better.

Griffith-Jones said: “National silos are expensive, burdensome and provide opportunities for regulatory arbitrage. We have come far closer to the ideal on international co-operation than before the crisis.”

He spoke at the Deutsche Borse-Clearstream Exchange of Ideas event in London this week on “Avoiding Collateral Damage – The Regulatory Challenge.”

The regulator highlighted the need for regulators to cooperate on cross-border trading of derivatives.

“We reached an agreement with the CFTC last summer but we are not there yet and we know that time is pressing,” he added.

At the end of March the ODRG, the over-the-counter derivatives regulators group which includes authorities from the European Union, the US and other countries, issued a report identifying the remaining cross-border implementation issues related to global reform of OTC derivatives markets.

The report also included a timetable for addressing them through a series of reports to the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors during this year.

In February Mark Wetjen, acting chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and Michel Barnier, European Commissioner, said significant progress had been made towards harmonizing regulation for trading platforms in the two jurisdictions. The report also highlighted recent arrangements to shatre information between the CFTC and Singapore, Japan, and four Canadian provinces.

Griffith-Jones said regulators were building the architecture for increased  international cooperation and putting together global standards for reporting data.

“The FSB [Financial Stability Board] and IOSCO [International Organization of Securities Commissions] are very  important,” he added. “The view of the FCA is that almost all future markets regulation will come from Brussels and David Lawton spends nearly all of his time at Esma policy  meetings.”

Lawton is director of markets at the FCA.

Griffith-Jones said the regulator needed to balance three factors – stability of the financial system, vibrancy and integrity – but will refocus on conduct issues.

“Until recently we assumed that little regulation of the conduct of wholesale participants was required,” he added. “However this was rudely interrupted by the issues around Libor and foreign exchange and the weakening of trust should not be under-estimated.”

Griffith-Jones became chairman of the FCA in April last year. He was deputy chairman of the new regulator’s predecessor, the Financial Services Authority, from 1 September 2012.

He previously worked at KPMG and became chairman and senior partner of the UK in 2006. In 2007 Griffith-Jones was promoted to joint chairman of KPMG Europe.

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