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FCA defends secondments with ‘Big Four’ accountants

THE Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has revealed how many staff were seconded to and from it from the ‘big four’ accountancy firms Deloitte, KPMG, PwC and EY in 2014.

Following a Freedom of Information (FoI) request by sister publication Insurance Age, the regulator said that 25 people were seconded to the FCA from the listed big four accounting firms in the year.

It also advised that five people from the FCA were seconded to the big four accounting companies.

The FCA said in the FoI response: “Before considering your request it is worth noting, that the FCA hosts inward and outward secondments from and to various professional and financial services firms to bring critical skills and knowledge to the FCA and those organisations for a managed period of time.

“Secondments facilitate the sharing of knowledge and best practice to be exchanged across the FCA and between the FCA and firms.”

Following further enquiries by Insurance Age the FCA denied that these secondments create a conflict of interest.

Code of conduct

A spokeswoman insisted: “All secondees must sign a code of conduct agreement and confidentiality agreement.

“Subject to the secondee observing any applicable statutory provisions relating to the disclosure of confidential information, the FCA does not intend that this agreement should prevent the secondee from using the benefit of the secondment on their return to the firm.”

She added: “This may include using and disclosing information of a general kind concerning the policies and practices of the FCA providing this does not involve disclosure about the internal workings of the FCA, or any other public body including the government, which the FCA or that body could reasonably expect to be confidential.”

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