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FCA threatens action as it warns re-reg is too slow

The FCA has warned platforms that re-registration times are too slow and threatened them with prescriptive rules if the situation doesn’t improve.  

Richard Taylor, a manager of the FCA’s retail distribution team, told delegates at a Tax Incentivised Savings Association platform conference today that industry-led solutions to re-registration were not leading to fast enough re-reg times across all platforms. 

He said: “Progress has been rather less than satisfactory. We made it clear that we were looking for an industry solution. I think Tisa delivered that with TEX. But there has perhaps been a slower than expected uptake of TEX. Not everyone put the effort and investment in to meet our deadline.

“If re-registration is not happening in this way we may, as we have said in our policy statement, look at whether prescriptive rules may be required.”

In its platform policy statement, the FCA called on platforms to offer re-registration within a ‘reasonable timeframe’.

He added: “We would consider that what is reasonable here is what is reasonable from the point of view of the customer, not what is convenient for the platform provider.”

Commenting on the preferential share prices being negotiated by platforms, Taylor said the FCA will conduct a review after pricing levels become clear.

He added: “In a competitive market you would expect different groups with different negotiation powers to get different prices. What we need to do is see what the outcome looks like and one of the things we will be doing is having a post-implementation review to see if the objectives we were seeking have come out. We are bound to see a wide range of prices in the sense you would expect in competitive market.”

He also repeated comments made recently by Bob Ferguson, head of wealth management and private banking at the FCA, who had indicated that the execution only space should expect increased scrutiny of the distinction between advice and execution. The FCA is currently conducting a thematic review of execution-only business first signalled in April.  

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  1. This is not simply a platform problem. It requires uniform data standards from fund managers, third party administrators and all platforms. The issues really arise with large volumes and matters of nasty detail such as re-invested dividends credited post an xd date. Once any major provider cannot reconcile the register the whole system is at risk. The regulator has not helped by mucking about endlessly with the rules. Tisa and some of the bigger paltforms have been trying hard. Maybe the FCA should lead a sensible project review and get to grips with the horrid detail of all this rather than merely yapping.

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