It is likely that insurers and brokers will not miss their chance to have their say, says Jon Guy

By Jon Guy 

As brokers and underwriters headed to Manchester yesterday (9 May 2023) for the Biba conference, the government issued a long-awaited consultation.

The Financial Services Regulation: Measuring Success – Call for Proposals document asked UK financial services firms how they would like to see regulators support an effort to put the UK at the heart of the global insurance and financial services industry.

Jon Guy

Jon Guy

HM Treasury has called for proposals on the performance metrics that the government should use to measure the success of regulators in upholding competitiveness objectives enshrined in the Financial Services and Markets (FSM) Bill.

One of the new secondary objectives for regulators included in the bill is a commitment to support international competitiveness and growth objectives.

A treasury spokesperson explained: “The FSM bill introduces new, secondary objectives for the FCA and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) to facilitate the international competitiveness of the UK economy and its growth in the medium to long term.

“This call for proposals is intended to help determine what additional metrics it is most appropriate for the regulators to publish, in order to ensure that reporting on the new secondary objectives is sufficient to support scrutiny of the regulators’ work in embedding and advancing their new objectives.”

Quick out the blocks

The opportunity to submit responses has already been seized by the London market, with the chief executive of the London Market Group (LMG), Caroline Wagstaff, quick to spell out her hopes from EC3.

Wagstaff said: “This announcement is significant news, given the campaign that the LMG has led for greater accountability of the regulators and their performance.

“The consultation recognises the government and parliament need to be able to hold the regulators properly to account, with the right data and information. This is an issue that cannot simply be left to the regulators to decide for themselves.

“It is now critical that this consultation is conducted swiftly and that ministers put in place a series of performance metrics that ensure that the regulators deliver on their new international competitiveness objective and use Clause 37 actively to benchmark the UK’s regime against other global competitors, with enhanced [key performance indicators] on timeframes for authorisations and approvals.”

She added that the LMG has been working on the issue for some time.

“Our Metrics for Success document, published last summer, sets out how the Treasury can achieve this,” said Wagstaff.

“We would strongly encourage the government to kick start a long overdue change in regulatory culture and provide a much needed boost to UK competitiveness and growth.”

The opportunity to submit responses to the consultation ends on 4 July 2023.

It is unlikely that insurers and brokers will miss their chance to have their say on what checks and balances they would like to see applied to the regulators.