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FOS: There’s no ‘revolving door’ between us and FCA

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The Financial Ombudsman Service says it does not have any staff on secondment to the FCA or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, dampening accusations of a “revolving door” between regulatory agencies.

In a response to Freedom of Information request, the FOS said it did not currently have any staff posted to the FCA.

The response reads: “While we do work closely with the FCA and regularly share information with them such as our complaints data, none of our staff are currently on secondment to the FCA.”

FOS also drew attention to its memorandum of understanding with the FCA, drawn up in December 2015, which sets out how the complaints adjudicator and regulator should work together and share information.

A FOS spokesman confirmed that no secondees have gone from FOS in the last financial year to any other regulatory agency.

The FOS has two secondees at the Claims Management Regulator.

The spokesman says: “It’s something we are open to and keep under review. We do have secondees; it’s not something we don’t do as a matter of policy.”

Sharing staff around

The FOS and The Pensions Ombudsman are still yet to draw up their own new memorandum after entering talks in September 2015.

While the FOS and FCA do not currently share secondments, the FCA and Treasury have had staff crossover in the past.

Libertatem director general Garry Heath raised the issue of potential conflicts of interest from FCA staff secondments to the Treasury in late 2015, arguing that complaints to MPs by constituents about regulatory issues could be shared with the FCA.

At the point, the FCA had four members of staff posted to the Treasury.

The Prudential Regulation Authority’s Megan Butler was also made a permanent director at the FCA last year after a secondment.

The FCA said it could not give out historic or current numbers of secondees without a further FOI request.

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Comments

There are 6 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Well unless things have changed there, that’s a porky. In 2005 I wrote to clients offering them advice regarding endowment problems. At the foot of my letter I also told them about a client who tried claiming against me fraudulently. This letter was sent to the FOS and then passed onto the FCA. I then received an enforcement team visit. Explain that away please? Result was they found nothing wrong but wasted my precious time.

  2. The issue isn’t one of sharing information, it should be one of aligning viewpoints on various advice scenarios.

  3. 10 points to Justin Cash for actually using a picture of a revolving door at the FCA. Very clever.

  4. I have no objection to FCA or FOS staff interchanging between the two bodies if the person has the relevant qualifications and experience. Under an FOI request, transpires the FOS do not keep central record of their staff’s qualifications. For example, no one at FOS acting as judge and jury over occupational pension transfer complaints has CII – G60, CII – AF3 or an equivalent pensions qualification.
    FOS need to bring in outside experts with commercial experience and relevant qualifications which perhaps makes hiring civil servants FCA not the best source to be recruiting from?

  5. Yet, they appear to share the same ‘sewing kit’.

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