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Ticking all the boxes

It is drummed into journalists to avoid using clichés wherever possible but sometimes it is unavoidable and it can even be desirable.

A story in the trade press that stood out for me this week because it certainly, to use a cliché, ‘ticked all the boxes’, and the reason it stood out was precisely because it held the UK regulator to account and helped to ensure that it does more than simply ‘tick the boxes’.

The Insurance Insider’s article headlined ‘FSA issues ‘warning notice’ on Chaucer stake building’ caught my eye for several reasons.

Firstly, it made good use of the Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation to force the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to disclose that it has issued a ‘warning notice’ that has stalled Pamplona Capital’s plans to build a significant stake in Lloyd’s insurer Chaucer.

The FSA had previously refused to confirm how its processes work as it regulates investors to building stakes or take over UK financial services companies.

Secondly, as a financial journalist it was good to see a story that held not only the regulator to public account but reminded a private equity firm that elements of the press are scrutinising city deals.

Finally, kudos to The Insurance Insider, I’ve always understood it is well connected but getting the UK Liberal Democrats deputy leader Vince Cable MP to go into bat for them as they sought answers from the FSA really was quite a coup.

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