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Centre for Competition and Regulatory Policy Round Table


Panel Discussions

Public, Staff, Students, Academics

Speakers: Luis Correia da Silva, Michiel Denkers, Adam Farkas, Amelia Fletcher, Paul Grout, Mary Starks

New insights into competition regulation and consumer protection

This roundtable will discuss lessons for consumer protection across sectors and across countries learnt from, let’s call it, the UK’s natural experiment in regulating financial services through competition.  We also aim to cover the connected and perhaps even more important lessons to be drawn from the competition enforcement and pro-competitive interventions undertaken in EU capital markets since at least the European Commission’s 2010 paper on responsibility and competitiveness in the European Financial Sector.

It is now five years since the UK embarked on an intriguing experiment to make competition regulation the default tool of its financial regulator.  Yet few would argue that this has caused the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) just to mimic utility regulators and competition authorities.  One reason is that the FCA needs to implement financial regulations agreed by global and European authorities, albeit these often aim to improve market efficiency through competition.  Yet the differences between what the FCA is doing and what utility regulators and competition authorities are doing may be instructive for all sides.

A further dimension of interest is the FCA’s considerable emphasis on the demand side and on supporting innovation in regulating through competition.  For example, the FCA has made extensive use of Behavioural Economics in understanding markets and in its design of remedies.  This practice, and its results, can usefully be compared with what has been done in the European Commission, by other jurisdictions such as Italy and the Netherlands and in IOSCO’s World Investor Week. In addition, the FCA is promoting an international ‘Sandbox’, whose aim is to help innovations developed through acceptable business models to achieve the standards necessary for regulatory authorisation.

Also instructive could be the differences in approach or outcomes between competition interventions in capital markets and in retail markets.  The former were mostly interventions designed by the European Commission, although the FCA has implemented a few of its own following Market Studies, whereas many of the latter are UK-specific.

Generally, the Roundtable will consider what utility regulators and competition authorities can learn from European financial regulators/regulations, and vice versa.

Issues may include:

* Some important financial markets are already highly concentrated and some utility markets may become more so with the rise of platforms and concentrated ownership of critical data: how could competition, regulation and perhaps other authorities help with this problem? Are some data now an Essential Facility?

* What would be the costs and benefits of financial regulators targeting productive and allocative efficiency in the manner of utility regulators?

* When can nudges foster competition and when are outcome-specifying remedies preferable or, even, better able to drive effective competition over time?

* Multiple and profound technological changes (for example, Enhanced Cyber Security, Blockchain, FinTech, AI, Public Cloud, and Big Data Analytics) will pose great challenges and great opportunities for regulators wanting to maintain and improve market efficiency, whether through competition remedies or other tools: what have we learnt about how best to navigate these challenges and opportunities?  Do the challenges mean that the demand side in all markets needs more financial education?

* From the perspective of regulators, are wholesale market participants usefully less ‘behavioural’ than retail consumers?

* Does the FCA's attempt to balance consumers' and shareholders' interests through Business Model Analysis and related soft, often firm-specific, interventions reveal useful lessons for competition authorities, utility regulators or other financial regulators?

* What has the FCA's attempt to create Public Value (as described in its Mission document) through combining pro-competitive measures, consumer protection measures and compliance drivers such as principles-based Supervision and Enforcement activity shown other regulators?

This event is open to competition practitioners and academia who will be able to hear and discuss different topical issues on competition policy with a panel of leading competition experts.

Speakers and Panellists

Opening Remarks:
Dr Xeni Dassiou, Director, CCRP

Round Table Chair:
Luis Correia da Silva, Partner, Regulation, Competition & Financial Services, Oxera

Michiel Denkers, Director Competition at Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM)
Professor Paul Grout, Competition Adviser to the Bank of England and non-executive Director of Ofgem
Professor Amelia Fletcher, OBE
Mary Starks, Executive Director of Ofgem and former Chief Economist of the FCA
Adam Farkas, The Executive Director of EBA

Speaker biographies

Dr Xeni Dassiou, Director, CCRP
Dr Xeni Dassiou is a Reader of Economics and the Director of the Centre for Competition and Regulatory Policy (CCRP) at the School of Social Sciences at City, University of London. She is also a CMA and an Ofgem academic panel member.

Her research interests lie in the area of industrial organisation theory and competition policy and she has worked in this area for the last 25 years. She has written numerous papers on the economic theory of bundling as an instrument of price discrimination, both on a mathematical platform as well as on the economic policy related implications of bundling in government procurement and financial regulation.  She has also published papers on the institutional arrangements, oversight and competition in public service markets, modelling the formation and updating of trust perceptions in infrastructure contracts, the role of herding in determining managerial and investment behaviour, and the impact on the returns of UK companies involved in failed hostile mergers. Xeni has been recently working with co-authors in a game theoretic analysis of auditing and on a quantitative approach on exchange rate exposure.

She has given numerous invited talks on behavioural issues in regulation and competition, public service markers regulation, organised several CCRP workshops and annual competition policy roundtables, as well as edited journals on topics such as the regulation of infrastructure utilities and competition in modern market structures.

Luis Correia da Silva, Partner, Regulation, Competition & Financial Services, Oxera
Luis Correia da Silva is leading the Corporate Finance and Regulation teams at Oxera and applying economic expertise to finance, competition, regulation and policy issues across a wide range of industries. Specialising in financial markets, corporate finance, financial regulation, the impact of corporate taxation and corporate governance. Directed policy and research studies for both the Competition Commission and the Office of Fair Trading in the UK, and published on economics and finance matters. Involved in UK Competition Commission cases and European Commission regulatory and competition analysis, appeals and arbitration cases and has provided written and oral evidence. Directed many studies for the European Commission, including on financial services, asset management, state aid, corporate control and has advised financial institutions on state aid matters arising from the global financial crisis.

Michiel Denkers, Director Competition at Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM)
Mr. Denkers, M.A. in economics, worked at the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) between 2002 and 2015.

During the last seven years at AFM, he was Head of the Financial Institutions Supervision Group. Prior to that, he worked at PwC and Barclays, among other firms. He has been director of ACM’s Competition Department since July 2015.

Professor Amelia Fletcher, OBE
Amelia is Professor of Competition Policy at the University of East Anglia,  a Non-Executive Director of the Financial Conduct Authority, Payment Systems Regulator and Competition and Markets Authority, and a member of the Enforcement Decision Panels at Ofgem and the Civil Aviation Authority. She is also a member of the Economic Advisory Group on Competition Policy at DGComp and the Oxera Economics Council.

She was previously Chief Economist at the Office of Fair Trading (2001-2013), and a member of the OFT’s Executive Committee. Before joining the OFT, she was an economic consultant at Frontier Economics (1999-2001) and London Economics (1993-1999). She has a DPhil and MPhil in economics from Nuffield College, Oxford.

Amelia has written and presented widely on competition and consumer policy, and has a particular interest in behavioural economics. She is on the Council of the Royal Economic Society. She was awarded an OBE for services to competition and consumer policy in the 2014 New Years Honours.

Mary Starks, Director of Competition, Financial Conduct Authority
Mary Starks is Director of Competition, sharing the job with Deb Jones. Together they created the Competition division at FCA, now 90-strong with a wide-ranging programme of competition casework underway. Mary also sits on the Executive Committee of the Payment Systems Regulator.

Previously Mary was a Senior Director at the OFT, where she had worked since 2008. Among other things Mary was responsible for the OFT’s financial services work, and its change programme. She is an economist by background, and has previously worked at the New Zealand Commerce Commission, NERA Economic Consulting and the Bank of England.

Event timings

10.30 - Registration
11.00 - Round table begins
13:00 - Networking lunch
14:00 - Close

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When & where

10.30am - 2.00pmFriday 26th October 2018

The Northampton Suite University Building City, University of London Northampton Square London EC1V 0HB United Kingdom

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