Financial PR practitioners should not be subject to stricter
regulation by City watchdog the Financial Services Authority (FSA),
according to the IPR City and Financial Group.
After debating the issue, the group decided not to press the FSA for
tighter regulation of financial PR. The newly-constituted FSA had asked
the IPR group to comment on its draft rule book, which covers a wide
range of City operators.
In its response, submitted last Friday, the group decided not to ask for
specific regulation of financial PR but said it would update advice
produced by the IPR, the PRCA and the Investor Relations Society (IRS)
in a 1995 guide, entitled Through the Thicket.
However, at a forum on Monday chaired by PR Week, members of the group
decided to examine the possibility of a voluntary, cross-industry
financial PR code.
It was suggested at the forum that the code should encompass the PRCA,
IRS and other operators within the financial PR industry.
The proposed code would be similar to the current regulatory code of the
Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), which is monitored independently.
Stewart Prosser, the Royal Bank of Scotland’s head of corporate and
institutional banking PR and chair of the IPR City and Financial Group,
said: ’There is no guarantee that a voluntary code would prevent
scandals, but we need to be prepared due to the increased interest the
Government is showing.’