View more on these topics

Financial Services Skills Council denied new licence

The Financial Services Skills Council’s bid for a new licence has been officially denied by the UK Government, bringing the role and strategy of the body under review.

According to an announcement today by Skills Secretary John Denham, the FSSC “did not meet the standard required”.

The review, which will rely heavily on the views of employers in the sector, will be completed by autumn. At that time ministers will make a decision on the position of the FSSC licence.

The FSSC’s existing licence and contract will be extended to allow this review to take place.

Denham says: “Now more than ever we need to make sure that all employers are given the support they need to invest in skills and prepare for the upturn. Sector Skills Councils play a vital role as advocates for their industries and in identifying and tackling strategic skills needs.

“I am confident that the proposed review for FSSC provides the right direction for securing the changing skills needs of the finance sector. This comprehensive assessment process will assist in raising standards even further, and ensure that SSCs have the confidence and support of employers in their sector.”

The FSSC has hit out at the Government, labeling its decision “inappropriate and backward-looking”.

FSSC chief executive Teresa Sayers says the Commission for Employment and Skills’ argument that the FSSC is not well-managed is “entirely unfounded”.

Sayers says: “The National Audit Office produced its own detailed and comprehensive report four months ago which recognised significant improvements in the way the FSSC operates. It identified no critical failures which indicate that the FSSC cannot continue to be effective in this area.

“The NAO report does make other recommendations for continuing improvement with which the FSSC concurs. However, the NAO found no specific failures under the four measures of being well-run, namely a competent board, effective processes, a professional executive and good financial controls. Given this assessment the UK Commission’s decision is inexplicable and inappropriate.”

Sayer adds that the NAO report recognises specific board and management improvements “which define a well-run Sector Skills Council”.

She says: “The FSSC therefore finds it particularly mystifying and disappointing that the UK Commission seems to ignore this conclusion and instead reports that the FSSC failed to meets its standards as a well-run SSC.

“This conclusion suggests that the UK Commission has ignored the NAO report and has failed to appreciate the complexities of the FSSC’s footprint. The high calibre of its much strengthened board also appears to have been overlooked.”

The Chartered Insurance Institute says it is not surprised that the FSSC has not been relicenced.

Director of policy and public affairs David Thomson says: “We look forward to contributing to the review of the Skills Council and ensuring the new structure meets the requirements of the financial services and insurance sectors.

“We note the UK Commission for Employment and Skills called on the Skills Council to ‘develop more effective and productive partnership arrangements with professional bodies before submitting a new relicencing proposal’. We welcome this.”

Recommended

Fees or bust

The news that Marks & Spencer has dropped its differential pricing on bigger bras got me thinking, after all, the idea of prices based on the item and not its contents (build contents that is) takes me to the most important part of the move to fees.

ECB cuts rates by 0.25%

The European Central Bank (ECB) has cut interest rates by 25 basis points and decided to pump €60 billion (£52.7 billion) into the eurozone economy. Interest rates now stand at 1% and the marginal lending facility was cut by 50 basis points to 1.75%. The Governing Council will also embark upon an “enhanced credit support […]

Whittaker stepping down at RBS

Royal Bank of Scotland finance director Guy Whittaker is to step down from his role and the RBS board.

Higher learners

Regulation, like many things, is cyclical. Light-touch, prescriptive, principle-based, outcome-based – and now “a regulator to fear”. How many times have we heard these phrases in the past year or two? Does regulation drive market behaviour or is it the reverse? I’ll let you decide.

FAMR – a familiar response

Pension specialist Fiona Tait takes a look at the Financial Advice Market Review and assesses the three areas where it suggests improvements can be made With significant budget changes ruled out (for a while anyway), the pension community briefly turned its attention to the FCA’s final report on its Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR), hoping […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm

    Email: customerservices@moneymarketing.com