The Plain English Campaign (PEC) has been fighting gobbledygook, jargon and misleading public information since 1979. Judging by last week's RDR professionalism paper it still has work to do at the FSA.
PEC has helped many government departments and other official organisations with their documents, reports and publications, believing that everyone should have access to clear and concise information.
Many providers have a Crystal mark on their documentation reflecting their support of plain English.
Clearly this does not apply to the FSA.
To dissect and digest FSA documents like its final policy statement on the RDR and professionalism takes days for most if not all IFAs.
I think this is symptomatic of the general willingness of the FSA to shroud what should and could be very simple, informative and straightforward points in legalise and a frankly visually disturbing format.
It leaves certain important questions unanswered.
Only 44 firms and/or organisations responded the regulator's consultation, which informed last week's policy statement. Why so few? And how much did this 72-page document cost to research and produce?
Conversely it dwells for 4 pages on an ‘Equality Impact Statement'. Why? So much of this and other sections are stating the obvious.
Last week's document can be considered helpful in places, but the content, layout and language leaves much to be desired in the search for transparency.
It also goes some way toward supporting the theory held by many as to why RDR costs are out of control.
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