Thursday, 12 July 2012

That regulatory turn

I know I've bleated on about this at length before, but it's pretty obvious now that in the financial sector regulators are going to play an important role in corporate governance. For all the moaning about regulatory interference from the EU, it's happening on our doorstep.

One or two of you may have noticed that there's been a change of personnel at the top of Barclays, with the Diamond geezer getting the heave-ho. What is also clear is that his exit was strongly encouraged by the Bank of England (with Lord Turner's support it seems). This was despite the fact that 'shareholders' had told Marcus Agius that Diamond should stay.

Barclays is now on the hunt for both a chief exec and a chair. I think it's fair to say there's a bit of a split opinion amongst shareholders on the latter, with a fair bit of support for Mike Rake to step up (though again some anonymous 'shareholders' have told the FT they want an external appointment). But it may simply not be up to them. As The Grauniad points out today, the FSA will have a say in both appointments:   
As the events of the past fortnight have shown, the FSA has the final say, not the shareholders. It makes finding a chairman and chief executive... even tougher.
Apparently corporate governance is OK to leave to shareholders, until something really serious is at stake.

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