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&#39FSA rule to whistleblow may breach Rights Act&#39

London law firm Osborne Clarke is warning that FSA measures to force IFAs to whistleblow on suspected money laundering after N2 could breach the Human Rights Act.

After November 30, everyone regulated by the FSA must share information and coop-erate with law enforcement agencies on suspected criminal laundering.

IFAs will have to take a proactive approach if they have suspicions about a client or think a colleague may have not passed information to the FSA.

Failure to do so will be a criminal offence and Osborne Clarke head of private equity Kieran O&#39Connor believes this and the need for an IFA to prove himself innocent rather than be found guilty could lead the FSA being accused of violating the UK Human Rights Act 1999.

He believes the increasing burden of regulation will mean that few small IFA firms will be able to survive. He says the FSA will be making “quasi-judicial” decisions on what may be a failure in an IFA&#39s admin system rather than a criminal offence.

O&#39Connor says: “It will be interesting to see if someone will raise the defence of the FSA breaching human rights which I think is an arguable case.”

FSA spokeswoman Karen Loudon says: “We have chec-ked that our disciplinary procedures are Human Rights Act-compliant.”

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