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FSA appoints Julian Edwards as consumer adviser

The FSA has appointed former Which? consumer champion Julian Edwards as consumer senior adviser.

The FSA says it established the new role to help deliver better outcomes for consumers through “intensive supervision and rigorous risk assessment”.

The FSA says it also wants to strengthen its understanding of consumer issues.

Edwards, who took up the role on January 1, has more than 30 years experience working for various organisations including Which? and Consumer International.

FSA’s chief executive Hector Sants says: “I am delighted to announce Julian’s appointment today as a senior advisor to the FSA. He has considerable experience to bring to bear on the key issues that we face in protecting consumers.

“Through intensive and intrusive regulation we are focusing our skills and insight into not just taking action when we find failures, but proactively identifying and addressing issues that have the potential to harm consumers. This is a step change in approach and Julian will have an invaluable role in ensuring that we have the ability to achieve this.”

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Comments

There are 15 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Smoke and Mirrors comes to mind. Sems like the FSA are adopting the spin methods of their bosses!

  2. Paul Standerwick 5th January 2010 at 10:42 am

    Nicole should know how to spell “adviser”.

  3. “Better outcomes” from the services provided by which organisations? The banks? This’ll be interesting to observe. What’s Mr Edwards’ gameplan, then? Given that we’re paying his salary (and bonuses and all the rest of it) the industry has a right to know, I think.

  4. Consumer champion? Just how much do you need to earn to be a consumer champion then? £100,000? More? Another bill for us to pay. Please call these people what they are. He is no champion…he is PAID very highly to do this. A champion does it out of duty and conscience.

  5. Another overpaid, unqualified amateur joins the regulation of our industry!

  6. Ventriloquist consumerist dummy? 5th January 2010 at 11:29 am

    Ventriloquist dummy purchased with the FSA pulling strings!

    This is yet another example of the FSA buying out opposition and using the very fees of those they seek to destroy! The FSA has appointed former Which? consumer champion. Another sell out by a so called consumerist who joins the worlds greatest anti consumerist body – the FSA which is about to drive those same consumers right into the hands of the tied banks with their Retail “Redistribution” Review! I have long wondered where the consumerist voice is on this anti competitive attack on independent advice well here is yet another ventriloquist dummy with the FSA pulling his strings!

  7. Interesting quote from Mr Sants “Through intensive and intrusive regulation ….”

    Definition from Encarta English Dictionary of Intrusive is “forcing itself or yourself into a situation or on people’s attention in an unwelcome or inappropriate way; causing an uninvited and unwarranted disturbance of somebody’s peace and privacy”

    Is this the right way to win hearts and minds and move our industry forward in the right direction?

  8. “The FSA says it also wants to strengthen its understanding of consumer issues.”

    Not from where I sit, or sat.

    The only people who have an understanding of consumer issues are….wait for it……

    Independent Financial Advisers past and present.

    How’s that? Well, we actually talk to consumers!

    Which? had “best buy” tables for low cost endowments, guess which life office was always top….you only have one guess….it starts with Equitable…

    When I published the surveys on t’internet they got legal with it!

    When I sent the copies to Nic Cicutti who wrote in this paper asking for evidence that Which? had been promoting mortgage endowments he didn’t mention them ever again.

    Funny old world, I can remember arguing with ‘consumers’ who were holding a copy of Which? magazines purporting to be offering ‘independent advice’ and recommending Equitable Life, I wasted my breath most of the time because the Consumer’s Association had all that CREDIBILITY, come to think of it, why did it change its name?

    All the recent appointments announced by the regulator have been “interesting” as Hector would put it, we only have to wait to see what the ‘outcomes’ are….not a very long wait I bet, more mayhem and imbalance.

  9. From where does the FSA get these daft ideas?

    If Which knows as little about everything else as it appears to know on financial services, then it’s not worth reading.

    Which isn’t about championing the consumer, it’s about selling magazines.

    Well-meaning (?) window dressing?

  10. Level 4 must now be set as a minimum for FSA staff 5th January 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Level 4 must now be set as a minimum qualification for “all” FSA staff. New recruit must have immediate qualification and existing staff must be qualified by 2012, failing which termination will result. FSA staff are not to be given paid time off to study and no redundancy or compensation is to be paid following termination of their contracts.

    This of course will never happen because we are governed by an elected dictatorship who has imposed on the financial services industry an unelected, unaccountable Stasi like quango that even fails to be good in the application of its own abusive and invasive powers.

    The FSA is not justified to disqualify an authorised person who has been authorised for many years and who, by definition, has been a fit and proper person satisfying the requirements of the regulator. From a
    practical point of view that person has not ceased to be fit and proper simply because the FSA raises the required qualifications. It is
    arguably irrational and unreasonable to say that the same person is fit and proper on 31 December 2011 but not fit and proper on 1 January 2012 simply because the FSA wants to raise standards.

    The Human Rights point is that it is wrong to deprive some one of the right to practice his or her profession unless that person has failed to
    meet the standards required at the time that that person became entitled to practice; ie, at the time of authorisation.

    The Stasi have deemed an arbitrary date when a “fit & proper” adviser become unfit to practice unless they reach the arbitrary level 4 standard.

    I am sick and tired of being kicked around by a regulator that lack moral authority and legal authority. God help the FSA if a challenge is mobilised because I’m sure my views are representative of an entire industry that sees the FSA as a destructive Cancer that must be destroyed before it destroys what is left of this once proud business and if that day comes I will toast the fall of the FSA which represents all that is wrong with a britain in decline.

    PS No name supplied because IFA’s are outlaws and without the protection of common law.

  11. Which? Which what?
    I have recently terminated my subscription to Which? Apart form the fact that it is now a trading company which, as one contributor has said, no longer can hold itself up as a consumer champion, is actively taking cash from various organisations to promote their wares.
    I was ‘recommended’ to use their service to choose an energy provider and was told that I would receive an incentive so to do. I enetered correspondence with them asking how they could offer this incentive and was told that they received a commission from the service provider. I enquired as to the size of this commission and was told that it was “commercially sensitive information”.
    Perhaps IFAs would like to try the same tack when asked by a client.

  12. The FSA is also to blame for the rise in crime as a result of all these unemployed IFAs roaming the streets. It is also the FSA’s fault that the NHS is struggling to provide a decent service as with less IFAs to service the public, the public has lost out on all these great financial products and turn to drugs, alcohol and bad diets to forget their sorrows. The feral youths roaming our inner city estates are also attributable to the FSA as a consequence of unemployed IFAs and their former clients not having sufficient income to live in nice places and bring their children up properly. As for schools, yep, you’ve guessed it – the FSA lies behind the increasing number of illiterate and unemployable school leavers, not to mention the rampant uncontrolled immigration and desperately struggling local councils. Roll-on the day when the FSA is scrapped and all their staff locked-up in prison for acting in bad faith. Only then can we start to rebuild this once proud nation and put the Great back into Britain.

  13. “The FSA says it also wants to strengthen its understanding of consumer issues.”

    Not from where I sit, or sat.

    The only people who have an understanding of consumer issues are….wait for it……

    Independent Financial Advisers past and present.

    How’s that? Well, we actually talk to consumers!

    Which? had “best buy” tables for low cost endowments, guess which life office was always top….you only have one guess….it starts with Equitable…

    When I published the surveys on t’internet they got legal with it!

    When I sent the copies to Nic Cicutti who wrote in this paper asking for evidence that Which? had been promoting mortgage endowments he didn’t mention them ever again.

    Funny old world, I can remember arguing with ‘consumers’ who were holding a copy of Which? magazines purporting to be offering ‘independent advice’ and recommending Equitable Life, I wasted my breath most of the time because the Consumer’s Association had all that CREDIBILITY, come to think of it, why did it change its name?

    All the recent appointments announced by the regulator have been “interesting” as Hector would put it, we only have to wait to see what the ‘outcomes’ are….not a very long wait I bet, more mayhem and imbalance.

  14. Darren Kempster 8th January 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Consumers buy products and hence go to a Bank who will provide these products for purchase.

    Clients receive advice – so come to an IFA. This Chappie Edwards therefore can only direct his attentions at the Banks because we IFA’s only have clients.

    I am reminded of the scene in the movie the Outlaw Jose Wales wher Eastwood sits in a covered wagon behind a gattling gun and indiscriminantley mows down all before him.

    Now I am reminded of the RDR review and the FSA implementation of same and ask myself will this make consumers trust, believe in and understand the products they purchase??

    Perhaps Mr Edwards remit should be – don’t stay a consumer, become a client!! If you can still find an IFA and afford their new fees that is.

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