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Chris Hemsley speech at UKRN 10 Year Anniversary event on 19 March 2024

This is the text of Chris Hemsley's speech at the UKRN 10 Year Anniversary event on 19 March 2024 as drafted and may differ from the delivered version. This speech was part of a wider speech following other contributors: Charles Randell CBE, Lord Johnson CBE and Kate Jones. Chris is the CEO of UKRN alongside his role as PSR's Managing Director. 

First off, thank you all for coming to celebrate UKRN's tenth anniversary, and thank you to each of our speakers for their thought-provoking contributions.

I have spent 25 years working for or very closely with the UK's regulators.

Our members are responsible for tackling important and difficult challenges across most of the UK's economy. What we do, and how we do it, affects outcomes right across our society. The current challenges on the cost of living serve to highlight this.

The UK's regulators are also contributing to tackling some of the UK's biggest challenges. This includes supporting long-term growth, the transition to a low carbon economy and realising the benefits - and tackling the challenges - presented by the growth of the digital economy.

These challenges require long-term thinking, creativity and - at times - taking difficult and often unpopular decisions.

And that is where the UK's regulators play an important role. Accountable to parliament and the wider public but able to focus on technically complex matters and to focus on the long-term outcomes. Building markets, tackling monopolies and improving outcomes for people and businesses.

In the face of that challenge, UKRN has played - and continues to play - an important role. With a small and focused central team, UKRN helps our members collaborate to meet these challenges.

This includes running a huge number of networks - sharing knowledge and best practice across our regulatory boundaries. Having moved across these boundaries a few times, it is always surprising how many parallels there are between our seemingly disparate sectors. Most of our challenges we have in common in some way.

UKRN has also been a focus for collaboration on set piece pieces of work. Our work on vulnerability and the cost of living was completed and ready to go when as the UK entered the recent inflationary period.

UKRN plays an important role in supporting inward investment into the UK - we meet regularly with international investors and our recent cost of capital report provided helpful cross-sectoral clarity that helps investors understand our regulatory framework.

We are also an important focal point for engagement with government and parliament. Most recently, this included our contributions to discussions on how to support effective accountability of the UK's regulators.

It is an absolute pleasure to be the CEO of UKRN. There are many new challenges ahead. But I am confident that across our members we have the people, ideas and commitment to rise to those challenges.

Thank you again for joining us for this celebration.