Occupy London to meet Financial Services Authority
- As Occupy London passes its 50th day of occupation, announces meeting with Hector Sants of the FSA, Ken Costa, former Vice-Chairman of UBS Investment Bank and Chairman of Lazard International, and the Bishop of London to discuss regulatory change, social and economic justice
- Invites public to get involved in debate via interactive forum
This coming Wednesday 7 December, representatives from Occupy London – part of the global movement for social, political and economic justice – will meet with Hector Sants, CEO of the UK regulator for the financial services industry, the Financial Services Authority.
Aimed at opening up dialogue between the Occupy movement and the FSA, the meeting has been arranged by St Paul’s Institute with Occupy London’s Multifaith, Belief & None working group. It will be attended by the Bishop of London and Ken Costa, former Vice-Chairman of UBS Investment Bank and Chairman of Lazard International, as well as ten occupiers including participants from its relevant working groups – Economics, Corporation, Politics, International and City of London Policy.
The first of its kind, the one hour meeting will take place at St Ethelburga’s Tent at the Centre for Reconciliation and Peace in the heart of the City of London. The focus will be to discuss what regulatory changes the FSA envisages taking place, the practical considerations regulators have to contend with and the time frames the FSA is proposing.
Occupy London representatives will be addressing issues and concerns raised by its General Assemblies including how to work towards a future system that is democratic, just, open, accountable and transparent and discussing the need for regulators to be genuinely independent of the industries they regulate. They will also be asking why they should believe regulation will work, when it has previously failed, and opening the discussion as to how they, and the wider public, can inform and influence the process.
The news follows the recent publication of Occupy London’s call for an end to tax havens, for lobbying transparency and personal accountability for executives. 
Voice of the people
Occupy London is inviting members of the public to get involved in the online discussion prior to this meeting, so that the broadest range of voices and views begin to be represented in this dialogue with the FSA and others. Details of the special direct democracy forum for the FSA meeting will be announced at http://occupylsx.org shortly.
“The global regulatory system is not working. The global call for economic, political and social justice needs to be heard so that we can make the financial system accountable to all,” commented Occupy London supporter James Hargreaves. “It is great that Hector Sants has shown willingness to engage with Occupy London, as well as Ken Costa and the Bishop of London, at this precarious time for the financial system. As Occupy London passes its 50th day of occupation at St Paul’s, it also feels fitting that this meeting will take place in the Bedouin tent at St Ethelburga’s.
“Since decisions taken by the FSA on regulatory change affect the global financial markets, it is essential to get real feedback and suggestions from the public regarding regulatory change. This is why we are creating our new forum so that Occupy London camps and the wider public can get together to have that much needed debate with the widest range of voices – reformist to radical. It is important for those of us who feel unrepresented to have a way of getting involved in the future of the global economy.”
Celebrating 50 days of occupation
Occupy London now has three spaces including its first occupation camp at St Paul’s Churchyard – just by the London Stock Exchange in the heart of the City – and a second camp at Finsbury Square in the borough of Islington. Its third space is a multi million pound abandoned complex of buildings at 21-29 Sun Street in Hackney, belonging to investment bank UBS which Occupy London, in an act of ‘public repossession’, has turned into its first Bank of Ideas, a space for debate and dialogue.
As well as the numerous events happening across the camps and beyond, Occupy London is currently preparing for ‘Occupy Everywhere‘ on 15 December. It is intended that on this day, a national day of creative non-violent action, communities up and down the country will get involved, take the message of Occupy – that it is time for change, that we need dialogue and that we can create a better world – and make it their own.
Most recently Occupy London showed solidarity with striking workers on 30 November, joining the march and also instigated a peaceful action to highlight the corporate greed of executives at a time when austerity measures are being thrust on the more vulnerable in society. The action sent a direct message to Mick Davis, CEO of Xstrata, the highest paid director of any FTSE 100 company, that the Occupy movement will not let such outrageous incomes go unnoticed.
Occupy London currently has 39 working groups based at St Paul’s alone, operating across topic areas as diverse as direct democracy, outreach and sanitation. In addition, General Assemblies are held daily at 1pm and 7pm.
All are invited to come to the camps and get involved.