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Campaign grows for audit of FSA budget

Hundreds of Aifa and AMI members have already pledged support to a campaign to have FSA regulatory fees reviewed and the regulator’s budgeting process overseen by the National Audit Office.

This week, the trade bodies announced they will form a cross-industry Regulatory Fees Strategy Group, chaired by director general Chris Cummings, in response to the proposed hefty increases in regulatory fees.

Advisers are to be hit with large increases to Financial Services Compensation Scheme fees and, although smaller firms will see FSA fees frozen, medium to large IFA firms and networks could be hit by overall fee increases of 90 per cent.

Aifa director of policy Andrew Strange says: “This underlines the strength of feeling in the profession in relation to this issue. We have been contacted by hundreds of members who are keen to support our campaign. We are calling on all members to help us demonstrate the strength of feeling by submitting their own responses to the consultation paper. The proposals from the FSA pose a significant threat to the intermediary community and we must ensure that our voice is heard loud and clear.”

Cummings says: “No business can simply absorb an increase in costs to the extent proposed. The regulator has endangered some good, financially robust businesses through these proposals. We are not prepared to accept this and, to paraphrase the words of FSA chairman Adair Turner, ‘The IFA community has paid too much for too long’.”


Make the switch to money purchase

I don’t know how much more of this nonsense I can take. Joanne Segars is very knowledgeable when it comes to defined-benefit (final-salary based) pensions but the stance she is taking when representing the National Association of Pension Funds can only be because of vested interests. Let us hope that the Mad Hatter rejects her request for the Government to guarantee the Pension Protection Fund.

Adviser Fund Index

Commodities are set for a tough 2009, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. In its quarterly report, published earlier this month, the EIU forecasts a 41 per cent fall in its Industrial Raw Materials index this year.

FSA picks Suisse’s Norris as COO

The FSA has appointed Mark Norris as its new chief operating officer, taking over from David Kenmir, who is leaving in April. Norris has 25 years experience in the industry, most recently as COO of Credit Suisse’s UK private banking business.

Green light

After the derision heaped on a Treasury minister who dared to utter the phrase “green shoots”, I am only too well aware of the dangers that those words carry in the current climate.


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