The FSA's "shaky" cost-benefit analysis of the RDR will face "proper scrutiny" after the National Audit Office (NAO) announced it is to investigate the FSA, the Association of IFAs (AIFA) says.
AIFA director general Chris Cummings says questions about the regulator's budget "have tended to be the last ones asked" but claims it will now be held accountable for its actions.
The FSA's total budget now stands at over £400m per year, but the regulator estimates the RDR's implementation will include one-off costs of £2m and ongoing costs of £1.2m.
Furthermore, an independent Professional Standards Board (IPSB) set up to oversee, among other proposals, the RDR's new minimum qualification requirements and to come up with a new code of ethics has been estimated to cost about £35m a year to run.
Earlier this week, Sarah McCarthy-Fry, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, announced the NAO would perform a full audit of the regulator, its first for more than two years.
It would enable the Public Accounts Committee, she said, to "receive and investigate reports into aspects of the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the FSA's performance".
Cummings says: "The regulator's RDR cost-benefit analysis sounded shaky but now we will find out exactly what it has spent its money - correction, our money - on.
"At last all those challenges the FSA receives about its pensions bill and the amount it spends on champagne at the Christmas party will be answered. This is a really positive move."
Cummings says he is pleased the audit would not be a "one-off" as the NAO has been selected statutory auditors of the FSA.
The FSA was last audited in 2007. That report recognised the progress the regulator had made since it was set up in 2002, but it was criticised for failing to do more to demonstrate its impact and for a lack of transparency over the cost of its day-to-day activities.
Marcus Brookes appointed CIO
In association with Professional Adviser
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