British regulators could be forced to hand over decision-making powers on fining and banning banks, brokers and asset managers to an independent body amid criticism of the way the authorities currently handle the penalty process.
The Treasury has begun a consultation on changes to the existing regulatory regime that could lead to the creation of a new body to oversee the decisions, such as whether to fine and ban an individual or their firm.
At present, the UK’s two watchdogs, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, have complete autonomy to investigate wrongdoing and decide on any punishment, though all decisions can be appealed.
“The government has taken action to provide a welcoming business environment for those in the financial services industry who play by the rules whilst ensuring that those intent on breaking them are held to account,” said George Osborne, the Chancellor.
He added: “I am committed to ensuring that the financial services regulators pursue a model of enforcement that delivers the appropriate balance of fairness, transparency, speed and efficiency.”