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A bolt from the blue sky

How appropriate for the FSA to be indulging in blue-sky thinking in the middle of a heatwave.

It is thinking of adjusting how advisers are categorised perhaps based on the time of life of their clients or perhaps by speciality.

The sighs of exasperation from those IFAs still in the country are almost audible.

In this issue, a medium-sized IFA, Scott and Casey, is profiled by Money Marketing.It says its business has prospered partly because being a general practitioner gives it much needed flexibility.

Any FSA moves to restrict this freedom in the cause of some perceived regulatory tidiness would surely not be welcome to many advisers.

We also note the thinness of the profitability of the advisory businesses of Bradford & Bingley, still the UK&#39s biggest high-street IFA group.

We don&#39t want to be too churlish – it is at least profitable – but do big advice groups really want to be forced to jump through even more regulatory hoops and have their strategy shaken up yet again? We doubt it.

We suspect that the FSA feels it must do something to underpin its regulation of protection and mortgage brokers alongside IFAs in the next few years.

If the regulator&#39s stance towards advisers needs to be adapted, the priority surely lies in learning the lessons of the professional indemnity crisis and just how structured products and split-capital investment trusts were oversold or poorly marketed -if, indeed, they were.

The FSA document which has been seen by Money Marketing, feels less like blue skies and more like a nasty dose of summer smog that could make it difficult for advisers to breath.

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