Forget revolving the regulator’s doors, just govern

David Little, a Partner in Bishop & Sewell's Corporate and Commercial department.

Isn’t it interesting that there are some jobs nobody wants. In 2010 the general election was often touted as an election worth losing, following the financial crisis, and there’s a sense of déjà vu facing whoever will become the next Prime Minister. With all the challenges facing them how can they possibly succeed, writes David Little, a Partner in solicitors Bishop & Sewell’s Corporate and Commercial department.

Another seemingly intractable problem in government that nobody wants is the Housing brief. The latest minister, Stuart Andrew MP, resigned after just 148 days in the role. As Inside Housing reported recently the transience of housing ministers continues. We have had twenty since 1997! The challenge seems to defeat even the most gifted intellects, although there have been some invisible, less gifted, postholders too.

Assuming she becomes Prime Minister on Monday 5th September Liz Truss is expected to review the roles and responsibilities of the Financial Conduct Authority, the Prudential Regulation Authority and Payment System Regulator. The FT reported she is unhappy with the performance of the PRA particularly and could consider drastic moves to reshuffle some of its key figures, or possibly merge the organisations into one super-regulator.

Now those of us with any memories of business and government will remember the last time we tried that, i.e. before the bodies were all separated, they didn’t function properly.

How many times have we heard that politicians think there is too much red tape. And then do little about it. Briefly listening to the Tory leadership candidates’ recent debates I seriously doubt that bizzy Lizzy has any deep thoughts about regulations, other than they’re OK, so long as they don’t get in her way.

Ms Truss may be Thatcher-lite, but if she would take my advice I’d suggest if she plans on winning the next election which is barely two years’ away, she spends her time focusing on the conundrum of inflation and recession. Let the regulators regulate.

Andrew Bailey has enough on his plate already as the Governor of the Bank of England to convince us he’s a man with the plan. Wouldn’t it be refreshing if frustration and anger was replaced by compassion and co-operation?

David Little is a Partner in Bishop and Sewell’s Corporate & Commercial team. Should you require any further advice or assistance, please contact him quoting reference CB344 on +44 (0)20 7079 4143 or email: [email protected]

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