Aegon has warned the FSA not to allow non-confirmed industry guidance to be seen as a lower standard than confirmed guidance under its plans to supplement principles.
Responding to the FSA’s discussion paper on the subject, Aegon head of business regulation Steven Cameron says it must be made clear that there is an equal role for both forms of instruction.
Cameron says the law of unintended consequences could mean that guidance issued by trade bodies which do not want their guidance to be made publicly available and so would fall outside the FSA plans may be treated as less important than FSA rubber-stamped guidance.
He suggests that industry guidance should take a number of equally valid forms, with interpretations of regulations probably taking the form of confirmed guidance alongside good practice issues which may not need to be confirmed.
Cameron believes that a range of guidance will not cause confusion but rather allow firms to find the right sort of personalised support in a principle-based world.
He says the FSA should not assume that industry guidance will fill all the voids left by the withdrawal of prescriptive rules and its regulations must be able to stand on their own.
Cameron says: “We must ensure industry guidance that is not confirmed by the FSA is not undermined under this new regime. Our suggestion makes it clear that there is a role for both forms of guidance and should take the heat out of any controversy around the subject.”