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Aifa wants to know if

Aifa has called on new FSA managing director of retail markets Jon Pain to demonstrate his affinity with the adviser community, given his strong banking background.

The FSA said this week that Pain will take on the role left vacant after Clive Briault left the regulator in April following the Northern Rock debacle.

Pain has held various positions within the Lloyds TSB Group since 1973, including managing director of private banking and stockbroking, before becoming managing director of Cheltenham & Gloucester until October last year.

Aifa director general Chris Cummings says he welcomes the appointment but suggests “the IFA community will be looking for him to demonstrate his affinity with the adviser community, given his strong background in banking”.

Pain was chairman of the Council of Mortgage Lenders in 2006 and 2007 and a member of the executive committee and chairman of the household committee at the Association of British Insurers between 2001 and 2003.

FSA chief executive Hector Sants says: “With more than three decades’ experience working in retail banking, insurance and the mortgage sector, as well as his work with trade bodies, Jon will play a key role in driving the FSA’s regulatory and consumer-facing objectives for the retail markets sector.”

Cicero Consulting director Iain Anderson says: “After Northern Rock, there is no doubt the FSA was looking at people at a high level who have a considerable banking track record and Pain fits that bill. His banking experience will stand him in good stead.”

Evolve Financial Planning director Jason Witcombe says many IFAs will question the bias of someone with a banking background but he believes that the FSA “will make a fair and sound judgement in relation to the retail distribution review”.

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