Self regulation in the investment markets has failed and should be replaced with a statutory regime tough enough to enforce the law, according to leading City figure John Henderson, chairman of investment management house Capel-Cure Myers.
Speaking to a group of City and media guests at an event celebrating Capel-Cure Myers' 200th anniversary, Henderson said: "Statutory regulation will bring compliance within the law of the land.
"Not only will it bring regulation and its enforcement into the public domain, thereby ensuring that penalties for those who do not comply are appropriate and relevant, but it will ensure that the regulators are accountable and act within the boundaries of natural justice."
Such statutory regulation should be introduced as soon as possible, as is the case in the US, in order to protect clients and have consistency of supervision, he said.
Criticising the current regulatory position, Henderson said: "The draconian powers of the regulators who have the ability to move the goal posts whenever they wish and without warning makes compliance with every shifting rule...virtually impossible."
According to Henderson, regulators have resorted to a level of bureaucracy which inhibits innovation and therefore practitioners' ability to satisfy changing demands of clients.
Neither are the regulators able to satisfactorily police the market. "It is horrendous that when the sharks are caught, their punishment is so minimal that it is derisory," he said.
He added that: "Self regulation has failed and it's time for this to be acknowledged and put right."