City watchdog scales back banker accountability rules

THE CITY watchdog has scaled back plans for making non-executive board members at banks directly accountable for their decisions.

The Financial Conduct Authority said that following its public consultation last year on the new Senior Persons Regime to make bankers more accountable, it has decided that only non-executive directors “responsible for key business areas and board committees” should come under the net.

“The revised regime reflects the fundamental difference in the role played by standard non-executive directors in comparison to other board directors, who have specific responsibilities,” the FCA said in a statement.

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The NED roles that will be in scope of the new regime are chairman, senior independent director and chairs of the remuneration and nominations committees.

“Within the regime, senior executives will be expected to take accountability for the conduct of the business for which they are responsible,” added the FCA.

“They are in a position to exercise a strong influence on the business and its culture through incentives and the messages that they give to staff.”

The watchdog claimed that “this clear line of accountability can have a positive effect on the culture of firms and on outcomes for consumers and markets”.