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UK replaces FSA with two new regulatory authorities

“The start of resetting the system of financial regulation,” says George Osborne.

The British government has replaced the Financial Services Authority (FSA) with two separate regulatory authorities in an effort to make the country’s financial system stronger and forward-looking.

Under the new twin peaks system, the ‘failed’ financial watchdog will now become The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), an independent agency led by Martin Wheatley, and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), an arm of the Bank of England headed by Andrew Bailey.

The PRA will oversee 1,700 banks, insurers and large investment firms, while the FCA will be responsible for protecting investors, policing the markets and promoting competition.

Bailey and Wheatley will also become the member of the Financial Policy Committee.

Bailey has promised that his staff will focus on a couple of big issues at each firm, while Wheatley has promised a fresh approach, seeking good outcomes for customers and businesses rather than stacks of carefully completed forms.

Regulators have “a very big question for the biggest firms”, Bailey said. “Can you control your firm . . . to a level and degree that society now expects from you? It is a huge challenge for them, now, to prove that it can be done.”

Wheatley said: “I characterise it as a move away from looking in the rear-view mirror. The conversations will be much more geared towards . . . tell us about your growth plans; where do you see your business moving to over the next six months [and] where do you see the risks in those areas?”

Jon Pain, a former regulator now with KPMG, told the Financial Times: “The real question is whether the growth agenda creeps into their remit. There is a trade-off. How hard and how fast do you push to make banks safe?”

Nathan Willmott, a partner at Berwin Leighton Paisner, told the FT: “Dealing with separate supervisory teams at the PRA and FCA, with their differing objectives and approaches, will undoubtedly add to the already massive regulatory burden.”

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We're hiring! Join the New Statesman as an editorial assistant

The NS is looking for a new recruit.

The New Statesman is hiring an editorial assistant, who will work across the website and magazine to help the office run smoothly. The ideal candidate will have excellent language skills, a passion for journalism, and the ability to work quickly and confidently under pressure.

The job is a broad one – you will need to understand the requirements of both halves of the magazine (politics and culture) as well as having an interest in the technical requirements of magazine and website production. Experience with podcasts and social media would be helpful.

The right person will have omnivorous reading habits and the ability to assimilate new topics at speed. You will be expected to help out with administration tasks around the office, so you must be willing to take direction and get involved with unglamorous tasks. There will be opportunities to write, but this will not form the main part of the job. (Our current editorial assistant is now moving on to a writing post.)

This is a full-time paid job, which would suit a recent graduate or someone who is looking for an entry into journalism. On the job training and help with career development will be offered.

Please apply with an email to Stephen Bush (Stephen. Bush @ with the subject line ‘Editorial Assistant application’.  

In your covering letter, please include a 300-word analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the New Statesman. Please also include 500 words on what you consider to be the most interesting trend in British politics, and your CV as a Word document. 

The deadline for applications is noon on Monday 12th October.