International Centre for Financial Regulation officially launched in London

Regulatory think tank created by City firms and UK government

LONDON - A new international regulatory think tank - the first of its kind - has been created in London. The International Centre for Financial Regulation (ICFR) is an independent research institute founded through co-operation between 19 finance firms, the City of London Corporation and the UK government.

The think tank will be fronted by Barbara Ridpath, who has been named as its first chief executive. The ICFR has been created in response to calls over the past year for a more collaborative approach to international regulation since the onset of financial markets turmoil.

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: "As the international community moves from crisis management to longer-term reform, The International Centre for Financial Regulation will help governments, regulators and firms across the world to learn from recent experiences and build a stronger global regulatory framework."

The ICFR will evaluate how regulators could address the evolution of financial markets more proactively, and how to guide future co-operation among national regulators towards better financial stability and market confidence. It will also offer training on regulatory understanding, compliance and risk management.

"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," said Ridpath. "Bringing together academics, policymakers, regulators and market participants through discussion forums, working groups and independent research, the ICFR will address themes to support a more efficient regulatory environment."

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