Centre of excellence on financial regulation to be launched

New international centre launching at end of year will focus entirely on financial regulation

LONDON – The establishment of a new International Centre for Financial Regulation (ICFR) has been announced today by economic secretary and city minister Kitty Usher. Barbara Ridpath, currently executive managing director and head of ratings services, Europe, at Standard and Poor's, will lead the new organisation as chief executive, with Mervyn Davies, chairman of Standard Chartered, as interim ICFR chairman.

The ICFR is an industry-led project independent of the UK Government and will be officially launched at the end of the year. It aims to become an international centre of excellence focused entirely on financial regulation. The organisation is being funded with more than £5 million provided by 19 financial services firms and The City of London. The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) will also release the £2.5 million that the Government has committed to the project.

The ICFR was first proposed by the industry at a meeting of the Chancellor's High Level Group in 2006.

"I welcome the strong support from across the City for the establishment of this new centre of excellence. As a world leader in financial services, it is important that Britain continues to be at the forefront of new developments in best practice in this sector," says Usher, while Standard Chartered’s Davies adds: “I am delighted the ICFR will be established this year, with the support of such a wide range of companies and donors. The City recognised several years ago that we need an international body to promote cutting-edge training and research, and recent events in financial markets underline this is the right time to launch."

Standard & Poor’s Ridpath notes: “The need for independent, objective research, thought leadership and training in the field of optimal financial regulation is becoming ever more apparent. It is important to provide this in a way that addresses the concerns of all market participants throughout the world, so as to ensure continued, open and vibrant capital markets. I am delighted to have a role to play in forwarding the agenda of the ICFR.”

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