FCA chiefs to face MPs over dropped banking inquiry

The UK' s Financial Conduct Authority secretly scrapped two major banking reviews over a period of a few months with politicians worrying that the regulator was reverting to "light-touch" regulation.

The chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, a panel of politicians that examine financial public bodies and banks, Andrew Tyrie MP, confirmed on BBC Radio 4's Today programme that he would be hauling in FCA CEO Tracey McDermott and chairman John Griffith-Jones to do the explaining.

"Each one [dropping the reviews] aren't crucial but cumulatively they do give the appearance of a weakening of a resolve and certainly the FCA's decision to drop its review into banking culture looks odd, after all it was in their business plan, Tyrie told BBC.

"And that's why the committee has decided to haul in the chairman and chief executive from the FCA to find out what is going on. Also to make sure they're getting on with implementing the new challenges they've been given by parliament.

"They have a tough job and we want to make sure they're doing it properly on behalf of millions of taxpayers and consumers."

Business Insider reported this week that the regulator had decided months ago to not initiate formal action in its review of allegations against HSBC's Swiss private banking arm of helping wealthy clients dodge tax between 2006 and 2007.

The FCA was created in 2013 to replace the Financial Services Authority had the mandate to regulate conduct related to the marketing of financial products.

It had been without a permanent chief executive since the exit of Martin Wheatley - widely seen as tough on the banks. Wheatly left last summer after learning that Osborne was against renewal of his contract.

Tyrie told BBC Radio 4's Today programme, "I'm concerned that, as we move further and further away from the crash and those awful events, time dims the memory, and therefore it is absolutely essential that we keep in mind all the time that we are trying to get this right.

"It's our job to put in place the best protection we can to make sure that when the next financial crash does come - and we can be sure eventually there will be one - that we are as prepared as we possibly can be for it."