FCA Enforcement Director Calls On Firms To Embrace ‘Culture Change’

Banks Urged To ‘Walk The Walk’ In Speech To Seminar

11.10.2013

Sarah Wallace, Partner | +44 (0)207 421 3876

The Financial Conduct Authority’s Director of Enforcement and Financial Crime has called on financial services firms to embrace a culture change in order to regain the trust of the general public and businesses.

Tracey McDermott told the NERA Economic Consulting seminar in London that the FCA and the industry as a whole is at the start of its journey to change behaviour across the sector and said addressing “society’s lack of trust” is the greatest present challenge to both.

She outlined that a key issue was to ensure firms are “walking the walk as well as talking the talk”, as a failure to do so would leave the industry, regulators and “most importantly consumers...worse off as a result”.

In the text of the speech published by the FCA, she added: “It is, I think, shocking that...the reaction of certain individuals is to say, ‘not my job guv – we aren’t regulators’. 

“As long as that attitude prevails on the trading floors and elsewhere at the frontline, as long as the industry believes the problems are created by the regulator or are there to be fixed by the regulator, then nothing will change.”

Ms McDermott joined the division in 2001.

Expert Opinion
This speech is another welcome sign of the FCA’s efforts to encourage the financial sector as a whole to realise the important role it plays in ensuring compliance with vital regulations which aim to keep consumers and businesses protected.

“It also highlights how a key aim since the financial crisis is to ensure that the sector as a whole takes responsibility for best practice and providing quality service.

“Regulatory compliance is everyone’s responsibility in an organisation and we would urge any businesses with concerns over such issues to seek specialist legal advice as soon as possible.”
Sarah Wallace, Partner