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Comment of the week: Beware those demanding oaths

Comment related to last week’s article on the FCA’s increasing use of attestation

“Attestations evolved from our greater emphasis on personal accountability”.

I get very worried by statements like this. To affirm something to be correct, true, or genuine:is effectively to certify by signature or oath.

It is vital that firms comply but accountability continues to be a one way traffic flow with regulation, those who regulate having no accountability at all.

A staring point for the FCA would be to refer to the Regulators Code. Its aim was to embed a risk-based, proportionate and targeted approach to regulatory inspection and enforcement among the regulators it applies to.

The expectation was that as regulators integrate the Code’s standards into their regulatory culture and processes, they will become more efficient and effective in their work. They will be able to use their resources in a way that gets the most value out of the effort that they make, whilst delivering significant benefits to low risk and compliant businesses through better-focused inspection activity, increased use of advice for businesses, and lower compliance costs.

Section 3.3 states that:

”Regulators should consider the impact that their regulatory interventions may have on small regulated entities, using reasonable endeavours to ensure that the burdens of their interventions fall fairly and proportionately on such entities, by giving consideration to the size of the regulated entities and the nature of their activities.”

Not much sign of that I fear.

So beware of men demanding ‘oaths’.

Derek Bradley is chief executive at Panacea Adviser 

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