Brown hits at Tory plan to axe FSA

Gordon Brown yesterday attacked Conservative plans to shake up City regulation, claiming that handing banking supervision back to a beefed-up Bank of England was ‘completely wrong’.The prime minister fiercely defended the tripartite regulatory system he created in 1997, when the Bank’s former role of overseeing banks was transferred to the new Financial Services Authority. Speaking at his final Downing Street press conference before the summer break, Mr Brown was scornful of the Bank’s ability - under the Tory model - to supervise banks, building societies, insurers and other institutions while setting interest rates and ensuring overall financial stability. He rejected Tory proposals to axe the FSA, saying it should continue as the expert banking supervisor: ‘If anything, the FSA should have greater powers in the years to come.’