Industry and Regulators Committee
Who watches the watchdogs? Improving the performance, independence and accountability of UK regulators

1st Report of Session 2023-24 - published 8 February 2024 - HL Paper 56



Chapter 1: Background

UK regulators in context

Recent government policy

This inquiry

Departmental input

This report

Chapter 2: Duties and objectives

Expansion of objectives

Tensions between objectives

Prioritisation of objectives

Chapter 3: Independence, strategic guidance and appointments


Benefits of independence

How independent are the UK’s regulators?

Strategic guidance and the boundaries of independence

Differentiating between policy and regulation

Strategic guidance

Requesting strategic decisions


Role of Parliament

Delays to appointments

Board governance reviews

Chapter 4: Resources and skills



Chapter 5: Accountability

Why accountability matters

Accountability to government and Parliament

Accountability to government

Parliamentary committees

Box 1: Recent developments in Parliamentary scrutiny of financial services regulation

Box 2: Case study on the Treasury Committee’s investigations into the Financial Services Authority (FSA)

The National Audit Office

The National Infrastructure Commission

A new body to support scrutiny of regulators?

Chapter 6: Transparency and engagement


Metrics and performance measurement

Limitations of metrics

Possible solutions


Businesses and regulated entities

The consumer voice

Input from workers

Summary of conclusions and recommendations

Appendix 1: List of Members and declarations

Appendix 2: List of witnesses

Appendix 3: Call for evidence

Evidence is published online at and available for inspection at the Parliamentary Archives (020 7219 3074).

Q in footnotes refers to a question in oral evidence

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