London seems to have a problem with regulators at the moment. Lots of them are failing, and we’re wondering what we should replace them with. Consider…
Last week the Financial Services Authority was finally scrapped, to be replaced with the new Prudential Regulation Authority. The FSA was in charge of regulating our financial services industry. If the bankers were blamed for creating the credit crunch by lending too much money, then the FSA were the ones who allowed the bankers to do that too often, for too long. “A regulator that lacks teeth”, “not fit for purpose” and “too close to the industry it was regulating” have all been complaints made against it.
And at the same time, lots of arguments are still taking place by the newspaper owners and editors, on whether they sign up to the new system of voluntary regulation proposed by Leveson, and finally agreed upon by the political leaders. If the tabloid journalists had been acting illegally and immorally through their phone hacking, it was the Press Complaints Commission that’s been blamed for not holding them to account. “A regulator that lacks teeth”, “not fit for purpose” and “too close to the industry it was regulating” have all been complaints made against it. Sound familiar?
So London has a problem with regulators at the moment. Who are the people able to regulate the key industries that make up the city?
The politicians are ultimately the ones we elect to make sure proper regulation systems are in place. But as I’ve written in the past, we clearly don’t trust the politicians at the moment. So they and we look to the lawyers to rescue things when they get bad (enter Lord Justice Leveson). But the lawyers are the last resort, only for when things do get very messy. In the ordinary day-to-day activities of life there should be a decent regulator for each key London industry, to make sure individuals and organisations in that industry act fairly, responsibly, and as they should be doing.
Pray for the watchdogs who regulate our city. Pray for the new Prudential Regulation Authority, and the new system to replace the Press Complaints Commission. Pray that London gets regulators with teeth, who can hold others to account and prevent wrong doing.
Mark Williamson also blogs regularly at One Rock International, a training organisation resourcing missionary leaders across the globe. He’s passionate about good films, good food, getting into deep conversations, and going for long walks with his wife Joanna.