New rules requiring firms to submit complaints data on individual advisers must include any client grievance related to advice given before 31 December 2012, the FSA said today.
In its original consultation on complaints reporting, the regulator proposed that firms must report complaints about retail investment advisers (RIAs) received on or after 31 December 2012.
Respondents to the consultation said that to collect data related to advice given before then could be problematic because record keeping will likely be of mixed quality and, in some cases, there will be insufficient data on the advice or service concerned.
But the FSA has changed its mind. In today's paper, it said: "We have considered the comments about possible difficulties arising if we required reporting where the cause of the complaint is before 31 December 2012.
"We have taken into account the implications for the aims of the policy as well as the implications for firms. On balance we believe that consumer interests will be better protected if we require firms to report complaints irrespective of the date of the advice that caused the complaint.
"Practising advisers whose past behaviour has given rise to complaints may still be exhibiting the same behaviours, and so may be of interest from a supervisory perspective."
Today, the FSA also said reporting must include complaints where advisers are no longer at the firm or are now inactive.
"This will enable any future supervisory activity to be informed by a fuller picture of the adviser's complaints history," it said.
Under the new rules, which come into force in January 2013, firms must provide the FSA with certain data about their RIAs, including their Individual Reference Number (IRN), qualification status, and the accredited body that issued their Statement of Professional Standing (SPS).
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