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FCA admits FSA data collection failings

FCA swaps table 1.jpg

The Financial Conduct Authority says it recognises the way the FSA collected data from firms was poor and has promised it will address the “data and information legacy it inherited”.

The regulator has published a “data strategy” paper today on how it will manage and use the information it collects from firms.

The FCA says it recognises that in the past the FSA did not always request data from firms in a “clear and effective way”.

It says: “We have listened to the firms we regulate, who told us there are a number of failings, including: too many requests for data and information without a clear information about why it was needed; unreasonable timescales, resulting in firms needing to divert resources to meet our requests; and a failure to communicate what the data and information was used for, leaving firms questioning if it was used at all.”

The FCA also says it recognises that the FSA did not have the internal checks to identify everything that was being asked of firms, and lacked the necessary technology to store and use the data it had appropriately.

The FCA says: “This is the data and information legacy that we have inherited and we are committed to addressing it. However, overcoming this legacy will take time, as much of the data and information we hold and continue to collect was initiated by and for the FSA, and our current data handling capability was defined by it.”

The regulator says it will put in place controls so data collection is constantly reviewed and stopped where it is no longer needed. It pledges to make data requests “clear and unambiguous” and link these to the regulator’s objectives.

A new data and analysis department has been set up to better manage data within the FCA. The FCA says the challenge in overhauling the way the regulator collects data is “substantial”, and may require “significant investments in technology.”

Before it commits any money, the FCA will test a new data management model to show it would improve data collection. It has chosen the UK retail investment market as a test case and will report its findings next September.

The news that the FCA is examining how to collect data better comes follows calls from adviser bodies for an urgent review of the retail mediation activities return.

Apfa, the Personal Finance Society and IFA Centre have raised concerns that complying with the RDR is putting undue pressure on advisers, particularly smaller firms, and that it is not clear why certain information is being requested.


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There are 15 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Changing your name means never having to say you are sorry.

    “…the legacy we inherited from the FSA”

  2. A year to report meanwhile we’ve all gone broke trying to comply with their stupidity and then they change it again so they can bleed us some more – thanks guys!

    If a private business took more than a month to resolve this sort of issue it would go bust!

  3. Its hard to believe what I have just read – the FCA are the FSA – its their own systems they are talking about but referring to them like they are someone else’s!

    Phoenixing – they really do have it to a tee don’t they, FIMBRA, LAUTRO, FSA and now FCA to name but a few – hands up anyone that has continual service on their company pension with these organisations!!!

    This really does highlight the world of double standards we live in with government departments/regulators in one world and the rest of us in the real one!

  4. Well seen they are spending/wasting other peoples money – but that’s what Governments do isn’t it.

  5. Aw gawd! Millions in salaries and all they can come up with is:

    “It ain’t us Guv – it wuz the others”

    You need qualifications for this?

  6. If it wasn’t so serious it would be quite funny!

    They live in Toy Town while we have to deal with the reality of their utter incompetence!

  7. While acknowledging the spirit of this paper I still have reservations. There are no plans to revamp GABRIEL and I assume Section K of the RMAR in particular. I remain convinced that there is a serious issue regarding data collection as the FCA are trying to obtain data based on an outdated regulatory regime which refuses to recognise advice, this being only possible I believe when statutory requirements are changed. There is no clear (or consistent) link between products and advice fees for example.
    Nevertheless, refining the data collected and explaining why it is needed is a very useful step forward.

  8. To Natalie Holt

    Just out of interest ! who exactly from the FCA gave you this statement ?
    Was it someone of standing rather than some mumpty “spokesman or woman”

  9. The FCA also says it recognises that the FSA did not have the internal checks to identify everything that was being asked of firms, and lacked the necessary technology to store and use the data it had appropriately.

    Pretty sure this is a Data Protection breach.

  10. The whole system needs to be redesigned from the ground up by someone other than the regulator itself.

    1. the regulator should set out and justify just what data it requires, why and what it plans to do with it.

    2. an outside body should then do its best to design a system that meets these criteria, based on the reasonable requirements of the regulator and on what it is reasonable for the regulator to require from those who will have to collate and submit the data for each return.

    3. a truly independent and impartial body should then examine and attempt to resolve by arbitration any areas of dispute between parties 1 and 2.

    A nice idea but it’s hard to see any real prospects for it to be done that way.

  11. The spin has started.

    Names on doors have changed, new cards and notepads have been printed, pencils sharpened by the new automatic machine, the carpets have been replaced and the smirker has been replaced.

    But…everything else is as before. Same sullen faces, same despondency and antipathy towards advisers and the same gleeful spending of other people money

  12. Quotes from Orwell’s 1984, published 64 years ago:

    “If you want to keep a secret you must also keep it from yourself”

    “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”

    “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

    “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power.”

    “Orthodoxy means not thinking – not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”

    “One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution to establish the dictatorship.”

    “Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation.”

    “The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.”

  13. The quotes from George Orwell’s 1984 can be summed up pretty succinctly in a single word ~ Sadism, which is the derivation of pleasure as a result of inflicting pain, cruelty, degradation, or humiliation or watching such behaviours inflicted on others. All without accountability.

    That’s pretty much how the FSA operates, is it not?

  14. Written over two thousand years ago;

    Woe to those who enact evil statutes And to those who constantly record unjust decisions.

    Isaiah 10:1

  15. Julian, I am told that that the FCA does cast an eye over the comments posted here, I sincerely hope they will consider your views. In addition this would mean that the appropriate specialists would be able to competitively tender, before they spend unmanaged millions which may be passed on.

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