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UK House of Lords Publishes Report on Regulatory Accountability

UK House of Lords Publishes Report on Regulatory Accountability

by Starling Insights

Starling Insights Editorial Board

Feb 13, 2024

Observations

Last week, the UK House of Lords issued a report entitled, "Who Watches the Watchdogs? — Improving the Performance, Independence and Accountability of UK Regulators." 

The report is the culmination of the House of Lords Industry and Regulators Committee's inquiry into regulators, launched in October 2023. It is based upon input from industry participants, parliamentarians, current and former regulators, regulatory agencies, and governmental departments. Among those interviewed by the Committee was Charles Randell, past-Chair of the UK Financial Conduct Authority, who has contributed to our forthcoming Deeper Dive, “Physician, Heal Thyself.”

"[A]mid a series of high-profile failures, there are growing concerns about the functioning of the three-way relationship between the regulators, the Government, and Parliament, particularly the role and performance of regulators, their independence, and their accountability," the report reads. “If the integrity and legitimacy of the UK's regulators are to be preserved, these concerns must be addressed.”

The Committee provides many recommendations for doing so, including clarifying regulators' duties, strengthening regulatory independence, and providing adequate resources for agencies to fulfill their mandate. However, perhaps the most substantial suggested reform is the formation of an "Office for Regulatory Performance" to “advise and support Parliament and its select committees in holding regulators to account for their performance in a routine and systematic manner.”

Later this week, Starling Insights will publish a Deeper Dive report entitled "Physician, Heal Thyself," which will discuss the global push to hold regulators accountable for their organizational culture and the outcomes such culture may drive. Regulators, that is, are increasingly being held to a standard regarding culture and conduct that they have emphasized in recent years among the firms they oversee. This Deeper Dive will only be available here on Starling Insights.

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