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Flight warns the FSA over the perils of offering &#39advice&#39

The FSA is coming close to offering advice and could be guilty of misleading consumers if it continues on its present path, warns Conservative Shadow paymaster general Howard Flight.

Flight&#39s warning comes as the FSA finally receives its full statutory authority at N2 on Friday at midnight.

When taken together, decision trees, comparative information tables, fact-finds and its new financial planning CD-Rom, Flight says the regulator is on the verge of offering advice to consumers. Flight says the FSA&#39s responsibilities for educating consumers should be transferred to the DfEE.

Flight, who has been a leading critic of the FSA throughout its development, questions who would discipline the regulator if it gave misleading advice.

He says the US financial services industry would not stand for its regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, appearing to give advice.

FSA spokeswoman Jac-kie Blyth says: “Providing advice is not in the FSA&#39s remit and this is not what we are doing. We are providing information to consumers.”

Flight says: “The FSA is coming pretty close to offering advice which I do not think it should. I am leery of this direction for the regulator. It is not its natural role. They can easily find themselves in the territory of giving advice and potentially advice that is not good. Is it going to discipline itself?”

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