The Association of IFAs has raised concerns the Financial Services Authority is trying to accomplish too many things at once and firms may not be able to cope with the level of change.
In its response to the Practitioner Panel’s review of the FSA, AIFA says the regulator must listen to the diverging views and improve the level of service it provides to regulated firms.
Chris Cummings, director general of AIFA, says: “We firmly believe that when it comes to regulation, ‘less is more’. At the moment the FSA is trying to accomplish too many things at once.
"While other European regulators are focusing solely on the impact of MiFID, the FSA is also delivering on the move towards a more principles-based regulatory regime. Can firms really cope with this level of change?”
AIFA’s main concerns fall into three areas:
- The danger of ‘initiativ-itus’: AIFA says the industry has yet to see the full impact of depolarisation and is awaiting the post-implementation review by the FSA, but it already has the retail distribution review. The association says the FSA should focus on what needs to be done, do it, and take responsibility for its actions, not simply move onto the next thing.
- Regulation by speech: AIFA says small firms need some certainty as to the regulatory backdrop, which cannot be achieved if they are expected to read and scrutinise every FSA speech.
- Treating customers fairly: AIFA believes the practitioner panel’s view is a little misleading to say small IFAs do not know what TCF means, as its own research shows 98% of IFAs are aware of it.
Cummings says the creation of a small firms division has been a notable success, but much more needs to be done.
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Emily Perryman on 020 7968 4554 or email [email protected].IFAonline
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