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'Fruitful' meeting with protesters

One of the most senior figures in City regulation described a meeting with protesters from the Occupy London movement as "fruitful and constructive".

Hector Sants, chief executive of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), said: "The FSA is very firmly of the view, I'm very firmly of the view, that it's very important we listen to everybody who wants to contribute to the debate about changing the financial system.

"They undoubtedly believe the financial system needs to change further - it has already changed a lot but it should change further.

"We had a very interesting discussion, a number of very interesting points were raised. I learned a lot, I listened and I got a very fruitful and constructive dialogue, which as far as I can judge I think all parties felt."

Mr Sants said they discussed "a number of important issues".

"We were talking about the role the FSA plays in overseeing the financial system in the UK, how we are already going about trying to achieve significant change, and I was listening carefully to those areas where they would like to see further change," he said.

Mr Sants met nine representatives from Occupy London as part of a Church of England initiative on finance and ethics. The private talks took place at St Ethelburga's centre for reconciliation and peace in the City of London.

The event is the first to be held by London Connection, an initiative launched last month by the Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Dr Richard Chartres, aimed at "reconnecting finance and ethics" in the wake of the St Paul's protest.

The project is being headed by Ken Costa, a senior figure in the world of investment banking and a former chairman of Lazard International. He said: "There are a number of issues and a number of initiatives, and London Connection is trying to establish these links between the informal sector, as I would call the meeting we had tonight, and the more formal, established part."

Campaigners have been camped in the courtyard of St Paul's Cathedral since October 15. The group also occupies Finsbury Square in Islington, north London, as well as an abandoned UBS-owned office block in Hackney, east London, which it has called a "Bank of Ideas".


From Belfast Telegraph