New financial regulation research centre launches

The ICFR involves co-operation between 19 financial services institutions - including major dealers such as JP Morgan and Citi, insurers, asset managers and accountancy firms - the City of London Corporation and the UK government to provide objective, non-partisan research, debate and training on financial regulation.

UK prime minister Gordon Brown said: "As the international community moves from crisis management to longer-term reform, the ICFR will help governments, regulators and firms across the world to learn from recent experiences and build a stronger global regulatory framework."

It will examine how regulation could better address and anticipate the evolution of financial markets, and how to shape international co-operation among regulators fundamental to re-establishing financial stability and confidence. The centre, while based in London, is intended to provide an international forum for open dialogue on effective regulatory collaboration and best practice.

"The continued impact of the current financial turmoil has highlighted the very real need for greater harmonisation of financial regulation globally to address the current concerns of all market practitioners," states Barbara Ridpath, chief executive of the ICFR in London.

"The launch of the Centre comes at a pivotal time when it is absolutely critical to be looking for new thinking on how to return stability to the financial markets, and how to adapt regulation to changed market structures."

Before taking this post, Ridpath was head of ratings services, Europe at rating agency Standard & Poor's, where she had worked for 10 years. Prior to this she was a senior credit officer at JP Morgan Europe.

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