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Opinion

FSA plays a mean hand

This year the annual UBS financial institutions’ summer conference was held in Valencia just as the football World Cup was starting.

Valencia has its own global event next year – it is hosting the America’s Cup competition. UBS, it may be remembered, was the main sponsor of the winning team from Switzerland. We sincerely hope the sailors can avoid the bug that 40-odd conference delegates got; if they don’t, the boats won’t be getting too far. Fortunately, the bug didn’t fully strike until after the conference had finished, which doesn’t quite explain why at one of the panel session officials from UK regulator the FSA looked discomfited. Maybe it was caused by the Italian regulator, who firmly stated his opinion late on during his speech that the UK’s regime was lax in comparison to his own, a view that drew mournful nods of agreement from an Italian bank treasurer present.

But the FSA’s men quickly regained their composure, which came in useful at the session on game theory in financial markets – otherwise called poker. Bankers trying to get a funky structure past the FSA should note that for the second year in a row a UK regulator won the poker game.

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