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Costs of regulation

Am I seeing news management in action or what? The headlines seem to applaud the PIA for freezing regulatory costs for members and we are meant to be eternally grateful for this small mercy. But has anyone looked behind the scenes at the sleight of hand that has been performed?

The overall costs associated with the phasing out of Fimbra, the setting up of the FSA, increases in staff levels and the hiving off of costs related to the pensions unit, together with expected increases in ICS costs, should leave most newshounds cold.

When we are able to ply our trade in the same manner as other members of the nation&#39s workforce, without having to pay tithes and levies, then we should be impressed. Sadly, the fact that we were required to pay fees in order to trade and levies to compensate victims of other people&#39s frauds has resulted in precedent too firmly embedded to be removed by new Governments.

I wrote to the new team at the Treasury last November, outlining my hopes that the new broom would truly sweep clean. I suggested that simple vetting of new products, their design and application could rid us of much that ails us in this business. The response was that the Treasury would view this as a free tax-planning service.

Rather than spend less controlling the few (sources from which our products are derived), the Treasury prefers to spend huge sums tinkering with the monolith that has been created by the discredited architects of yesteryear. Of course, such cavalier attitudes can only subsist on other people&#39s money – ours!

When the Government decided to take control of the shameful mess that poses as regulation, it should have treated it as any other commercial activity in the land.

Buck Lopez

Capital Financial Services, Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex

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