Nic Cicutti writes, and I quote – “The most important is that regulation, while onerous, is there to ensure the consumer feels safe.”
I disagree. Regulation is there to ensure the customer is safe.
There is a difference between being safe and merely feeling safe. The worrying thing is that the regulator does not seem to appreciate it either.
The regulator seems to think that endless data gathering will ensure a safe environment. It won’t, because the real crooks will fake the data for long enough to complete whatever crookedness it is they’re engaged in.
Meanwhile the rest of us are laden down with the FCA’s latest exercises in time wasting such as the ‘Online Regulatory Review’ which I have just been told I must complete.
It will only take me two hours I’m told. Well that’s alright then. Only two hours when I could have been working for my paying clients to earn my living, or two hours when I could have been doing the bit of pro bono we do for the poor needy and desperate, or even two hours R&R riding my Harley or at home with the family. Time is cheap when it belongs to somebody else.
Anyhow, back to feeling / being safe. It is a paradox but a fact that the safer people feel the more risk they take. Hence drivers wearing seat belts take more risks than those without and hence I ride my Harley a damn sight more sedately when I ride it without a helmet. So it is with investors.
The underpin of the FOS, FSCS and claims culture has led many to believe they can take any amount of risk and still come out smelling of roses by claiming misselling.
We need a ‘white list’ of regulated and compensatable products and services. Anyone choosing to go off list does it at their own risk.
It wouldn’t be difficult but it would require the regulator to get off the fence it likes to sit on. Until it does consumers will feel as safe as the glib can make them believe they are, but we’ll still be writing top-up cheques two or three times a year for the FSCS.
West Riding Personal Financial Solutions