October 4, 2013

Prior to becoming Mr BIBA, explains new BIBA appointment Dave Sparky, Steve White was known as Mr Regulation.

In his former role as Head of Training and Compliance, it seems, there wasn’t much Steve didn’t know about regulation (or, presumably, about training and compliance). In fact it’s a wonder he isn’t regulating something now, instead of racing up and down the country from one photo opp to the next with Bond themes pumping on his in car entertainment system. Funny how life turns out.

In any case, this story isn’t about Mr White or Mr BIBA or whatever we’re supposed to be calling him now. It’s about Dave Sparky, who this week professed himself not a little daunted at the prospect of filling Mr Regulation’s boots.

But he really shouldn’t worry. If anything, Sparky is even more regulatory than his new boss, having worked at late-lamented FCA precursor FSA for four years and at Marsh and Broker Knitwork in compliance roles.

Speaking to Insurance Aigue this week, Sparky said he is encouraged by the FCA’s ability to tell a bank from a broker, but “has already told the FCA to tone down its focus on brokers”. As anyone who has even squinted down at some hapless specimen trapped between two wafers of glass will know, toning down a focus is a highly technical operation. But if anyone can show the regulator how to do it, that person is surely Sparky.

“Compliance is my forte. It’s not easy for them to pull the wool over my eyes,” he warned would-be hoodwinkers in the world of regulation this week, deftly omitting to specify whether he knows anything about training.

But Sparky doesn’t want to be too hard on the FCA. All he’s asking, he explains is that brokers be regulated in a proportionate way (something he’s calling “Proportionate Regulation”), that there should be a Level Playing Field (LPF), and that the “voice of the brokers is heard by the regulator.”

Having already tried out a number of positions, Sparky explained why he felt particularly attracted to the BIBA position as follows: “What attracted me to the position was the way Steve had handled it and built it up for me to take to the next level. He has done a good job laying the road for me and now it’s a smooth journey.”

What on earth can he mean?

s1

Thanks, mate. I’ll take it from here.


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