U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling will say later on Wednesday that the focus of banks should be on long term wealth creation, not short term profits, reports said citing advance extracts of his speech. He is also set to signal that the overhaul of the U.K. financial regulatory system would be limited.
In his annual address at Mansion House, he will say that the process of learning lessons has to start in the boardroom. Bank boards must have the right people, skills and experience to manage themselves effectively, Darling will say.
He would like to focus on improving the quality of regulators and the abilities of people on the banks' board.
He will add that anybody who thinks that they can carry on as if nothing has happened should think again. In every country we are paying a huge price for this crisis, he says. Not just the financial cost but also a profound social and human cost.
Earlier in the month, the select Committee on Economic Affairs of the House of Lords recommended the government to return responsibility for macro-prudential supervision to the Bank of England as the framework of regulation and supervision failed to mitigate the financial crisis.
The tripartite authorities namely the Bank of England, Financial Services Authority and Treasury were found wanting in dealing with the crisis because their roles were not well defined and they were not clear as to who was in charge.
Elsewhere, the House of Lords EU Committee welcomed the actions of the European Commission on improving the regulations and strengthening the supervision of financial institutions. But, they were critical of the speed and manner in which the European Commission brought forward the latest proposals regulating alternative fund managers.
Lord Woolmer, who chaired the Committee for this inquiry said, The UK government have appeared to be behind the ball game at times. Getting things done right is now more important than getting things done fast. Woolmer added that the U.K. government should ensure national interest are properly reflected in new regulations or in structural reforms.
Financial services are a key, strategic industry for the UK. London operates in a global market place as well as in Europe.