Why did the FCA really drop its bank culture study?

Author: Lizzie Meager | Published: 26 Jan 2016

The Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) decision to scrap plans to investigate the internal culture within UK banks has been met with mixed reactions.

The regulator, which decided a traditional thematic review would 'not achieve the desired outcomes’, has decided instead to work with individual banks on the issue.

The announcement immediately sparked accusations of political meddling, including from some leading MPs, following the ousting of chief executive Martin Wheatley in summer 2015. Wheatley was viewed by some as hostile to banks and his dismissal by chancellor George Osborne was seen by many as an attempt to make peace with City banks.

"My view is that the FCA was concerned it'd find a problem too big for them to fix," said Andrew Fulton, barrister of 20 Essex Street. "I just don’t think the UK, as a financial centre, wants to stand alone...