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Can you simplify the FCA’s rules?

The FCA’s rules often require some decoding. In highly technical or nuanced areas, they can be understandably dense or tough to follow.

A prime example of this was flagged by former Money Marketing editor Natalie Holt on Twitter recently, regarding how the FCA will judge collective investment appropriateness under the EU’s Mifid II directive.

Former FCA board member Mick McAteer suggested we throw the rules open to suggestions as to how to simplify this in fewest words without losing regulatory accuracy.

A number of Money Marketing readers have answered the call, so we’d like to make our informal contest a little more formal.

Current frontrunner is pensions tech provider Systemsync Solutions’ Alan Chaplin, who reduced the Mifid tangle to: “Collective investment undertakings might be complex”.

Others took the call a little less seriously, like Red Circle’s Darren Cooke, who suggested the wording could be replaced with: “We don’t know what we’re doing (chant and repeat football terrace style)”.

Or Twitter user Kieran, who summed up the FCA’s position as: “No matter what you advise it could still be wrong “.

If you can go one better, or have other rules you wish to simplify, do send them to Money Marketing editor Justin Cash on


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There are 6 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Can you simplify the FCA’s (and FSA’s before them) rules ?
    The very fact that one has to ask the question, means they are not fit for purpose

    We have been in the state of double / triple guessing, interpreting, and just taking a wild stab in the dark for many years now.

    It’s little wonder there are huge inconsistencies across the industry and FOS…..

    I have said before, we are a industry locked a in zero gravity environment, where just making and drinking a simple cup of tea is a logistical nightmare.

  2. “Assume nothing.” Done.

  3. Perhaps the Bletchley Park code breaking facility should be reopened.

    Seriously though, this highlights yet again the need for oversight of pretty well everything the FCA does. If parts of its book of rules are unfathomably complicated or open to infinitely wide and variable interpretation, an external body should have the unassailable authority to throw them back to the FCA and say: This is an unfathomable tangle of gobbledygook. Go away and simplify it. You have X months and if this target isn’t met, THERE WILL BE CONSEQUENCES.

  4. All they need to do is “make them clear, fair and not misleading! The FCA have a serious case of do as we say, not as we do though, so the only solution is Frog Pills.
    Lucky for the FCA, Terry Practet onlt hads time to write Going Postal and Making Money as the next satire might have involved regulation and investment management.

  5. Anthony John Etkind 5th September 2017 at 4:16 pm

    UCITS are not complex. All other collectives may be.

  6. Yes it the simple answer. Scrap the current rule book (sorry volumes) and come up with something that resembles common sense. 114 sides of A4 paper (or PDF’s) for a £100pm ISA????? 124 for a 15pm term assurance???? WTF is that all about. Any regulator that actually thinks this is necessary to allow informed decisions to be made to accept/decline a recommendation is simply deluded

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