letter from FSA re Freedom of Information

  • bellyup
  • 10/10/08 09/01/10
  • a depositor
  • Offline
Posted: Tue, 03/03/2009 - 14:28

Received this today and have forwarded to my MP.

Our ref: FOI1171

Dear xxxxx
Freedom of Information: Right to know request

Thank you for your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act), for the following information

“We understand minuted meetings must have taken place between FSC/FSA/KSFIOM during the months leading up to 8 October 2008, we would like visibility of these minutes.”

Your request has now been considered. I can confirm that we hold the information you have requested. However we are not able to disclose it to you because the following exemptions apply:

* Section 44 (Prohibitions on disclosure)

  Section 44 provides that information is absolutely exempt if its disclosure (otherwise than under the Act) is prohibited by or under any enactment.  Section 348 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 ("FSMA") restricts the FSA from disclosing "confidential information" it has received except in certain limited circumstances (none of which apply here).

  Confidential information for these purposes is defined as information which relates to the business or other affairs of any person and which was received by the FSA for the purposes of or in the discharge of its functions under FSMA and which is not in the public domain.

  In the course of our exchanges with the Isle of Man Financial Services Commission (the FSC) we have received information which relates to the "business or other affairs" of Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander (Isle of Man), KSF (UK) and the FSC respectively.  Any information we have received from the FSC has been received for the purpose of carrying out our supervision of Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander (Isle of Man) or KSF (UK), and so falls within Section 348.  Consequently the FSA is prohibited from disclosing any of this information to you.
* Section 27 (International relations) – qualified exemption

  Section 27(1) exempts from disclosure information we hold if its disclosure would be likely to prejudice the United Kingdom's relations with another State.  Although its exact legal status is that of a Crown Dependency, the Isle of Man is a “State” for the purposes of section 27 of the Act.

  The disclosure of the information requested (whether received by or generated within the FSA) would be likely to adversely affect the FSA’s relationship with the Isle of Man Regulator and by extension other States and/or regulators.  This would include an adverse effect on the confidence those parties may have in their ability to carry on informal and sensitive discussions with the FSA.  Such a reduction in confidence would be likely to make such organisations approach the FSA in a much more circumspect manner, which would impede the free flow of information to the FSA, something which would consequently reduce the FSA's ability to carry out effectively its statutory functions.  If the FSA were unable to have such discussions (or these were to become more circumspect), this would be likely to harm the United Kingdom's interests by:
      o making it more difficult for the FSA to effectively monitor (and take action in relation to) matters in other States which are likely to have an adverse impact on the financial services sector in the United Kingdom; and
      o preventing, or rendering more difficult, the reform and development of financial services law.

In favour of disclosure

      o There is a public interest (in terms of transparency) in favour of our international work, including discussions with overseas regulators, being made publicly available.  In addition, we recognise that the discussions which took place between the FSA and the FSC as regards Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander (Isle of Man) and KSF (UK) are also a subject of legitimate public interest, in that they provide insight into the views and actions of the regulators at the time. 

Against disclosure

      o It is vital, and clearly strongly in the public interest, that the United Kingdom (through the FSA) is able to have open and candid exchanges of information and views with overseas regulators on financial services regulatory matters.
      o Given that the activities of many financial services firms take place on a cross-border basis, it is also clearly in the public interest that international financial services regulators are able to discuss issues of mutual interest and/or concern as regards such firms, with a view to resolving them effectively.

  Having balanced the public interest in this case, we have determined that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure of the information requested.
* Section 29 (The economy) – qualified exemption

  Information is protected where disclosure would or would be likely to harm the economic interests of the United Kingdom or any part of the UK.  We consider that this exemption applies to your request.  As part of our supervision of the firm, various issues were considered.  Disclosure of this information (which was generated for the purposes of informing the FSA’s approach to the firm) would be likely to lead to further comment and speculation about the UK’s financial markets, at a time when those markets are still in an unstable condition.  Such comment and speculation would be likely to have an adverse impact on the UK’s position as a major international financial centre.

  In addition, the disclosure of notes of meetings and discussions between the FSA and the FSC may also lead to uncertainty in the financial markets.  Certain topics may or may not have been covered and the timing of their inclusion or otherwise may lead to unnecessary market speculation, and may, therefore, also have a prejudicial effect on the economic interests of all or part of the United Kingdom.

  As this is a qualified exemption, we have balanced the public interests for and against disclosure as required by the Act.

  The factors for disclosure would be that disclosure of the information could increase public awareness and understanding of the FSA's views, analysis and decisions surrounding the firm.  We accept of course that this is a matter of legitimate public interest.

  However, against disclosure, we note that there are strong arguments that it is not in the public interest at this time for further comment and speculation to take place that would (as we have set out) be likely to have an adverse impact on the UK’s position as a major financial centre.  Such speculation would also be likely to have a negative impact on financial markets, which is also clearly not in the public interest.

  This exemption is qualified and we have balanced the public interests for and against disclosure as required by the Act.  In this case, in our view the public interest lies against disclosure for the reasons set out above.
* Section 31 (Law enforcement) – qualified exemption

  The qualified exemption in section 31 of the Act applies because some of the information requested, if disclosed, would, or would be likely to, prejudice the exercise by the FSA of its functions for the purposes of ascertaining whether circumstances which would justify regulatory action in pursuance of any enactment exist or may arise.  In particular, we note that disclosure of the information requested would be likely to lead to:

· (as we have set out above) both the FSC and other States and/or regulators; and

              1       regulated firms,

  becoming more circumspect in the information they provide to the FSA in the future.  The FSA is often made aware on an informal basis by firms and other States and/or regulators, of information which is important to it in carrying out its functions.  Any reduction in the free flow of information between other States and/or regulators or regulated firms and the FSA would be likely to the prejudice the FSA’s ability to carry out its functions.

  This exemption is qualified and we have balanced the public interest for and against disclosure as required by the Act.

In favour of disclosure

      o There is a public interest (in terms of transparency) in favour of our international work, including discussions with overseas regulators, being made publicly available.  In addition, we recognise that the discussions which took place between the FSA and the FSC as regards Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander (Isle of Man) and KSF (UK) are also a subject of legitimate public interest, in that they provide insight into the views and actions of the regulators at the time. 

Against disclosure

      o There is clearly a strong public interest in the FSA being able to exercise its supervisory and other functions in the most effective way possible for the protection of consumers.

  Having balanced the public interest in this case, we have determined that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure of the information requested.

If you have any queries or are unhappy with the decisions made in relation to your request please call me. If I am not able to resolve your concerns I will advise you of the process for an internal review. If you wish to exercise your right to an internal review you should contact us within three months of the date of this letter.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you also have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Telephone: 01625 545 700
Website: www.ico.gov.uk

Yours sincerely

Sandra Collins (Mrs)
Information Access Team
Financial Services Authority
25 The North Colonnade
Canary Wharf
London E14 5HS

Tel: 020 7066 7120
E-mail foi(?)fsa [dot] gov [dot] uk

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re letter from FSA re Freedom of Information

  • margaretta
  • 22/11/08 31/05/09
  • a depositor
  • Offline
  • Fri, 28/08/2009 - 18:05

Well done,

The text is running off the end of the page in my browser and therefore a lot of it is unreadable. Is it possible to post it in a txt file or pdf. Or failing that email to me on ksfiom(?)live [dot] co [dot] uk

Thanks

M


@margaretta

  • anrigaut
  • 19/10/08 30/10/09
  • a depositor
  • Offline
  • Fri, 28/08/2009 - 18:19

I found I could read it by copying it and pasting it into a txt file.


Good work bellyup

  • arny
  • 15/10/08 31/05/09
  • unspecified
  • Offline
  • Tue, 03/03/2009 - 15:30

Have you thought of sending a copy to the TSC?


Will do so

  • bellyup
  • 10/10/08 09/01/10
  • a depositor
  • Offline
  • Tue, 03/03/2009 - 19:32

I will do so .


bellyup ,.. thats good

  • hippychickrobbed
  • 03/11/08 31/05/09
  • a depositor
  • Offline
  • Fri, 28/08/2009 - 18:08

Mrs marple not bad...