Michael Foot, one of the initial managing directors of the Financial Services Authority when it was founded in 1998, looks back over his six year period in office. He identifies the main external and internal challenges that the new body faced and explains how management sought to articulate and then deliver a new regulatory culture and language. He notes the continuing consumer unhappiness with many aspects of the financial services they buy. If we are to get away from this cycle of dissatisfaction, we must greatly improve the currently woeful level of financial understanding in the UK. The FSA itself faces a major extension of its powers in the near future and, at the same time, has to complete the transformation programme it began in 1998.
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