The Association of IFAs is planning to release a guide on the new FSA regulatory reporting system in a bid to help intermediary firms complete the required data.
Chris Cummings, director general at Aifa, says the trade body will release another of its ‘quick guides’ revealing the top 10 things financial adviser firms need to know when completing the FSA mandatory electronic reporting (MER) requirements, as Aifa officials are “very worried” about the requirements on firms to deliver so much data to the Financial Services Authority(FSA).
More specifically, Cummings is concerned about the lack of communication IFAs and mortgage intermediaries have received from the FSA explaining what information they will be required to give the regulator about the business they conduct over a six-month period.
“We are very worried about regulatory reporting but given the option of asking 24,000 firms to complete paper returns, nobody is surprised that the FSA has gone down the electronic route,” says Cummings.
“The FSA needs to improve the communications, and develop the back end system-to-system. The FSA has done some communication work around [MER], but more is needed as the training offered so far is of varying quality as it takes roughly between 1-3 hours to complete and the firm has to have all the information to hand to complete it,” he continues.
From July 1st, all firms are required to present the FSA with a firm’s product sales data, complaints, standing data and the FSA requires financial intermediaries meet its Retail Mediation Activities Return requirements every six months, as well as detail its training and competence regime, and conduct of business information.
The FSA will use this adviser firm data to compare with data gathered from all product providers on a quarterly basis, to ensure numbers match up correctly and to help the regulator spot any general industry problems.
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