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Aifa warns that FSA must not use trade bodies to plug Newcob gaps

Aifa has warned that potential new FSA rules on industry guidance on the back of the regulator’s Newcob consultation must not push unwelcome additional responsibilities on to trade bodies.

The FSA will issue a discussion paper this week on the role of industry guidance in a Newcob world which will look at what trade bodies can additionally offer in the move to principle-based regulation.

Aifa director of public affairs Tracey Mullins says: “The regulator must not think it can use trade bodies to plug potential gaps by moving regulatory responsibility onto them.”

FSA director (retail policy and asset management sector) Dan Waters says the regulator will not require trade bodies to do anything against their will but such organisations should question their role after Newcob to look at areas where they may be best placed to offer guidance.

Waters says additional trade body work could take the form of case studies or Dear CEO letters on specific areas but there will be a full debate.

The Newcob consultation paper confirms that the menu and IDD will be kept but a postimplementation review – due to become effective in April 2008 – will look at a radical menu simplification, with Waters admitting its success is still to be proved.

The Newcob consultation paper radically cuts prescriptive rules across the board such as for suitability letters and financial promotions, replacing them with highlevel principles.

Waters says: “With a substantial simplification of the rulebook, we are looking at the role of industry guidance but we will not require trade bodies to do anything that they are unhappy with. The question is, do they think there is a role for them here?”


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