Businesses which fail to beat their rivals should look for problems with their training and competence (T&C) regimes, wealth manager Towry says.
The FSA has said it wants to see firms operating "robust training and competence schemes" and individuals demonstrating "good standards of ethical behaviour".
But Ian Howatson, head of learning and development at Towry, says good T&C is a way to boost business and not a regulatory burden.
"The truth is unethical businesses fail in the long term," Howatson told a CII meeting this morning.
"If you do not have a competitive business at the moment, looking at your T&C programme is a good place to start to change that."
A competitive business is a "natural by-product" of strong T&C, which is demonstrated at Towry, he says.
Towry overhauled its training and competence programme a few years ago. Howatson says Towry's journey "is not Utopian", but has been helped by strong support from "fully engaged" management, including CEO Andrew Fisher (pictured).
Tangible costs at the firm have decreased since the overhaul, Howatson says.
"In terms of hours spent, it cost us. But in terms of tangible costs, those are less as we combined T&C with the management systems we had to make savings."
But he urges firms planning a similar "radical change" not to wait for more FSA guidance before starting.
"Don't wait for more clarification to renew your T&C schemes. Don't wait for any more questions to be answered. Get on with it now," he says.
"Its much easier to make subtle changes later than implement wholesale change."
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