DEMOS Progressive Policy Forum

In December 2010 Dr Andromachi Georgosouli was invited to participate in a high-profile roundtable discussion on the future of financial regulation in the UK. The event was organised by DEMOS – one of the leading independent think-tanks and research institutes in the UK, renowned for its influence to the ‘Third Way’ policies of the Blair government. The roundtable was part of DEMOS Progressive Policy Forum and was attended inter alia by Lord Myners (Financial Services Secretary, HM Treasury), Cathrine McLeod (Special Adviser to the Chancellor, HM Treasury) and Prof Philip Rawlings (School of Law, UCL) . The discussion opened by Ms Kitty Ussher MP formerly Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury and one of the key speakers and followed by a vivid and constructive debate which was coordinated by BBC journalist and Director of DEMOS, Mr Richard Reeves.

Commenting on the event, Dr. Georgosouli pointed out that the discussion offered a valuable insight into the government’s reform agenda but also brought into light significant points of disagreement and tension between the Labour Party, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats most notably with respect to the role of the Bank of England and the need for radical institutional reform. Dr. Georgosouli expressed the view that, although regulatory reform heads in the right direction, it nevertheless opens up an era of more extensive State intervention into economic life. Leaving aside the issue of whether this is going to make a real difference in practice, Dr. Georgosouli commented that, from a legal perspective, greater State intervention is going to be a very interesting development not least because it challenges common perceptions about the private/public law dividewith respect to a series ofissues and practices (e.g. remunaration)that up till noware predominantly contract-based. From a regulatory perspective it is interesting to see how the call for more intrusive tactics could be reconciled with the FSA's vision of a regulatory approach that is essentially dialectic and participatory in character.

December 2010

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