May 24, 2013

Are you Hector? Are you Hector? Are you Hector in disguise? Are you He-e-ctor in disguise?

That was the rowdy chant directed at FCA ceo Dennis Wheatley when he spoke at the recent Biba show in London’s Docklands.

The mocking reference, of course, is to Hector Santa, former ceo of discredited financial regulator the FSA.

Suspicions that the transition from FSA to FCA (presumably intended to save money on updating the signage) was only skin deep were reflected in a poll conducted by compliance firm UKGUY which found that 75% of brokers either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that “The FCA is the FSA in another guise – same people and policies, different brand.”

Indeed, they might have struggled to find many who strongly agreed with the “different brand” bit, marking, as it does, only a minor upgrade from an S word to a C word.

Brokers, it seems, are a cynical breed. Or maybe just a bit slow on the uptake, suggests UKGUY managing director Jez White, who notes that “the vast majority of brokers are still unconvinced that the FCA really is a new body.”

Perhaps with this in mind, Dennis Wheatley explained patiently to brokers at last week’s Biba event that he wasn’t actually planning to shoot anybody – either before or after asking questions – but that he would be taking “early and decisive action” when he didn’t like what he saw.

That certainly would make a change from the FSA’s approach under Santa.

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