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FCA signals exit charges investigation

Financial Conduct Authority chief executive designate Martin Wheatley has signalled the regulator will investigate exit charges levied across the industry as part of its future thematic work.

Speaking at the launch of the Journey to the FCA document in London this week, Wheatley described how the FCA’s supervisory approach will differ from the FSA’s.

He said: “The old supervisory approach was to kick the tyres periodically, where firm after firm is visited to try and discover issues. We are rebalancing where we use our resources so firms will have far fewer relationship managed supervisors and far more thematic work in the future.”

He cited the example of the FSA’s sales incentives investigation, published last month, which looked at how sales incentives drive misselling at an industry-wide level, as the kind of projects the FCA will carry out.

Wheatley said: “Increasingly we will do that in lots of different spaces, things like exit charges across the industry, these are issues that very often apply to mortgages and loans and all sorts of businesses which can become unfair to consumers.”

Yellowtail Financial Planning managing director Dennis Hall says: “If you have an exit charge and you can justify why it is there then I do not think you need to be afraid of the regulator.”

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