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Davies staying on to finish off job at the FSA

IFAs believe that Howard Davies&#39 contract as chairman and chief executive of the FSA has been extended by 18 months because of his close personal involvement with ongoing reviews such as polarisation and Equitable Life.

They say there are too many unresolved matters which Davies has linked himself to, including the regulator&#39s role in the Equitable Life debacle and its attempts to reform polarisation, for him to leave in July at the expiration of his original five-year term.

The Treasury says Davies will remain as head of the FSA until January 31, 2004 despite speculation that he would leave once his current contract ends on July 31.

Many IFAs say it does not matter who is in charge as no one at the regulator understands the that role IFAs play. One says it is “better the devil you know rather than the devil you don&#39t”.

Michael Philips proprietor Michael Both says: “He hardly strikes me as someone who is particularly keen about IFAs in their current form. Now I doubt he is acting in favour of the consumer with his latest proposals concerning polarisation.”

Annuity Bureau director Ronnie Lymburn says: “He has been on the forefront on a lot of these ongoing issues such as the Equitable and polarisation. Perhaps they are hanging on to him so that everything gets cleared up in the next year and a half.”

Pensions & Investment Management principal Phil Moore says: “I still believe that no matter who it is, they are likely to cause a lot of problems for us because they just do not understand our business. Why bother replacing one regulator that does not understand us with another one that does not understand us?”

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