Bob Dylan wrote his protest song in 1963 mainly, but not solely, about civil rights.
“The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now
Will later be last
The Times they are a’Changin’”
A national newspaper (by co-incidence ‘The Times’) said last Monday (20 January 2013):
“Light-touch regulation got heavy and is about to get a whole lot heavier.”
The specific catalyst to this statement is the implementation of the Banking Reform Act which received the Royal Assent last December. ‘The Times’ said that
“The Regulator has been handed yards more rope with which to hang bankers.”
The changes include:
a) The individual is guilty until proven innocent (the burden of proof changes)
b) No collective Boardroom responsibility. Individual culpability will be invoked.
c) FCA now has six years to act (previously three).
Last week I used the profits warning issued by Quercus Publishing to illustrate the ineffectiveness of modern day regulation.
On Monday the inevitable happened. Quercus put themselves up for sale. It’s probable that the private investor will be wiped out.
Dylan was right:
“The Times they are a’Changin’”
But not for the better. ‘The Times’ made the point that the FCA now has around 500 heavyweight enforcers.
1,000 enforcers would have no difference to the shareholders in Quercus Publishing: it’s like asking Pippa Pig to referee a Twickenham International!