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