tony's blog

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Trade bodies - how to make friends and influence people

Trade body announcements and other industry commentary came in thick and fast yesterday starting just after 6am with Michael Coogan’s live interview on Radio 4’s Today programme discussing the latest CML research. This shows, according to the CML, that the FSA hasn’t done its homework properly in relation to responsible lending proposals within the MMR and the potential impact on the market if the proposals were implemented.  

I confess at this point I have not been through the research fully and so will resist the temptation to discuss the CML’s conclusions and whether I agree with them. But wherever you stand on this issue I wonder whether the industry is showing itself in the best possible light. What are trade bodies trying to achieve? The FSA have come out with their consultation paper and have welcomed input from the industry. We can either do that discretely with the FSA who, in my experience welcome constructive comment, or we can be shrill and publicly critical about our views. Which do we think will be the most effective way of working with the FSA I wonder?  

I know which I prefer and recommend and I suspect I know which will have the most impact in ensuring that proportionate responses are made and points taken on board within the final shape of regulation. I think trade bodies are at risk of damaging the industry and making themselves ineffective and redundant if they aren’t careful.  Watch this space!