Britain proposes accountability rules for market infrastructure firms

FILE PHOTO: A view of The Bank of England and the City of London financial district in London, Britain
FILE PHOTO: The Bank of England and the City of London financial district in London, Britain, November 5, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley/File Photo

July 20, 2021

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s finance ministry on Tuesday proposed extending individual accountability rules for senior managers at banks and insurers to a wider range of financial firms such as clearing houses and payments systems.

The proposed rules would apply to clearing houses like LCH, part of the London Stock Exchange Group, LME Clear and ICE Clear Europe, and settlement house Euroclear.

The existing rules were introduced after too few individuals were punished for failures during the financial crisis more than a decade ago and they aim make senior managers directly accountable for their actions.

The finance ministry said the current regime had only limited provision for oversight of individual conduct at financial markets infrastructure firms, companies that ensure that a transaction like a stock or bond trade is completed smoothly.

Under the proposals put out to public consultation, the Bank of England would have powers to decide which senior individuals at these firms would come under the regime.

“This would ensure that the firms which underpin the proper functioning and overall stability of the UK’s financial system are subject to the highest regulatory standards,” the ministry said.

“The government intends to legislate for this new regime when parliamentary time allows.”

(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Catherine Evans and Jane Merriman)