The Association of Professional Financial Advisers (APFA) has said it fears innocent advisers would be disadvantaged and their names not cleared sufficiently under new proposals by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) about publishing warning notices.
Responding to the regulator's consultation paper on publishing information about warning notices, published in March, APFA said the proposal needed to outline in more detail how it would rectify false accusations of innocent firms.
APFA said: "Our concern about the power to publish warning notices has always been whether a financial services firm wrongly condemned publicly will have its name cleared in an equally public fashion.
"We are therefore concerned about the lack of detail contained in this paper about how the process for issuing a notice of discontinuance will work."
The association was particularly concerned about whether equal weight would be given to the publication of a warning notice and any subsequent discontinuance notice.
"We think it needs to be made clear that whatever method is used to publish a warning notice, the same method will, as a minimum, be used when publishing any subsequent discontinuance notice."
It also said that typically warning notices had more impact than notices of discontinuance, therefore more effort had to be put into trying to rectify a false accusation to prevent damage to the firm.
APFA also asked for more clarity from the FCA on what information would be contained in discontinuance notices and how firms would be notified of them.
The Retail Distribution Review brought on new powers for the FCA which allow the regulator to publish warning notices when it has begun formal disciplinary proceedings but before it has come to a conclusion about the conduct of a firm.
Controversial attempts by the Financial Services Consumer Panel last year to amend legislation to allow the FCA to publish information without consulting firms, however, have been quashed.
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