FSA chief executive John Tiner is warning that IFAs could be hit by enforcement proceedings faster if the regulator succeeds in its plans to reduce case times.
The FSA is aiming for a further 30 per cent reduction in the average case time over the next 12 months. In the last two years, the regulator has cut the average time from 16 months to 11 months.
Speaking at the FSA enf-orcement conference in London this week, Tiner said he was looking to make investigations more public.
He said: “We are taking a hard look at our policy towards publicity in all other investigations. We have a general preference for greater transpar-ency about cases we are investigating but this must be done in a way which does not affect market confidence and unfairly damage firms or individuals.
“If we achieve our goals, we will have more than halved the average investigation time over a three to four-year period. It is often said that justice delayed is justice denied and we have a responsibility both to firms and consumers to be as speedy and as effective as possible in our enforcement work.”
The FSA is also looking at making more changes to enf-orcement, including better planning of investigations and formal interviews, encouraging earlier settlement of cases and more flexible use of preliminary findings' letters.