City PR firms may be governed by ’super regulator’

Tighter regulation of financial PR firms may be covered by the new financial ’super regulator’ announced by Chancellor Gordon Brown last week.

Tighter regulation of financial PR firms may be covered by the new

financial ’super regulator’ announced by Chancellor Gordon Brown last

week.



The Treasury told PR Week that regulation of financial PR was something

it would be consulting on.



The possibility was immediately applauded by the IPR’s City and

Financial Group. Chairman Stewart Prosser said: ’We now have an

opportunity to create a level playing field of regulation for all City

advisers, under one regulatory regime, including those involved in

financial PR.’



However, the consultation process is likely to be lengthy. The decision

to strip the Bank of England of its role of supervising the banking

industry will be passed in this Parliamentary session. But the Treasury

said it may be two years before legislation governing the financial PR

field came into force.



The IPR Group published a consultative document last year recommending

the inclusion of financial public relations practitioners within the

City regulatory framework.



Financial PR firms are not covered by any City regulators with the

exception of the Takeover Panel, which can publicly censure PR firms for

misusing confidential information during a takeover bid.



The panel’s director general Alistair Defriez said although it was not

campaigning for regulation in this area, ’if it could be made to work

and it was something that the profession were prepared to accept, then

we would lend it our support.’



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