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All change for £20m Raising Standards scheme

FSA managing director John Tiner has stoked fears that the Raising Standards initiative could become redundant, claiming it is based on the old regulatory regime which is about to be overhauled.

Despite saying he was pleased with the progress of the initiative, Tiner, speaking at the Raising Standards annual conference, said a new regime dubbed “son of key features” or key facts document is about to be introduced (see story on right).

ABI director general Mary Francis said more than 50 per cent of the industry is now Raising Standards-accredited and called upon the rest to join.

Companies have spent over £20m to go through the accreditation process and now look set to have to redraft and reprint documentation all over again to meet FSA requirements.

Tiner said: “The problem with Raising Standards is that it is based on the old regulatory structure. We need urgently to impose at a statutory or formal level the quality of documents at point of sale.”

ABI Raising Standards project director Stuart Tragheim says: “I am sure that some chief executives have deferred because they are waiting for the new regime. But accredited companies will be in a better position as they will have already addressed language and layout issues.”

Aegon UK director of bus- iness development and marketing Ken Hogg asks: “Is it right for the FSA to be doing this at this moment in time?”

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