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Change FCA aim to ensuring fairness and transparency

The Financial Conduct Authority’s single strategic objective should be changed from protecting and enhancing confidence in the UK financial system to maintaining a fair and transparent market for consumers, says Which?

Chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith said an objective to protect and enhance confidence in the system could encourage the regulator to keep problems quiet.

He said: “It is absolutely the wrong objective. It should be to maintain a fair and transparent market in financial services. If you want confidence in there, it should be fair and transparent markets which lead to justifiable confidence. The best way to have trust and confidence in the financial services industry is to never tell anyone there is a problem.”

Consumer Focus chair Christine Farnish added that a reluctance to upset confidence could even stop the regulator intervening in emerging problems before they blow up.

BBC Moneybox presenter Paul Lewis told the committee the FSA should follow the lead of the Food Standards Agency and publish lists of products it finds problems with. He said: “Do we have any less confidence in companies because we know they have withdrawn food? No. But speak to the FSA and it will not tell you what products it has discussed or withdrawn.”


Skandia UK to axe 86 jobs

Skandia UK is cutting 86 jobs from its operations team, which serves the firm’s platform and life arms. The team has just over 900 people and is responsible for processing new business valuations and other administration duties. The jobs are all based in the Southampton office, where Skandia has a total of 1,600 staff. A […]


Openwork confirms plans to convert 2Plan into network

Openwork has announced it is turning its national IFA 2Plan into a network, as revealed by Money Marketing earlier this month. 2Plan Wealth Management will support both registered individuals and appointed representatives and will be run by existing 2Plan chief executive Chris Smallwood (pictured). Openwork, which first announced its plans to acquire 2Plan in September […]

Co-op: We are the only credible Lloyds’ bidder

Co-operative Financial Services chairman Paul Flowers claims the mutual is the only “credible” bidder for the Lloyds bank branches. The European Commission is forcing Lloyds to sell 632 branhes and 5 per cent of the banking market by November 31, 2013 as part of its state aid agreement. Speaking at a fringe event at the […]

Lighthouse profits hit by Falcon costs as adviser numbers fall

Lighthouse posted a £2.4m loss for the first half of 2011, compared to a £117,000 profit in the first half of 2010, after incurring costs of almost £3m for the winding down of Falcon. Lighthouse put the £2.9m non-recurring charge down to a £2.5m provision for closure costs and other potential liabilities, added to £400,000 […]

Frexit & contagion risk in Europe

Many commentators have suggested the UK’s exit from the European Union will trigger a domino effect, leading to its eventual break-up. Neptune Head of European Equities Rob Burnett discusses the likelihood of this happening. Click here to read more Important informationInvestment risks Neptune funds may have a high historic volatility rating and past performance is […]


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  1. But the FSA is already an open and transparent regulator ~ it says so on its website, so it must be true.

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