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FSA failing to meet its own standards

The FSA has spectacularly failed to meet its own service standards for dealing with applications for authorisation after revealing it was unable to deal with over three-quarters of cases within its three-month limit.

The regulator has internal service standards requiring it to process a complete corporate authorisation within three months in 75 per cent of cases but between October 2009 and March 2010, it completed less than 25 per cent of 501 cases within the limit.

The FSA also failed to meet its statutory target of processing 100 per cent of applications within six or 12 months, with 98.9 per cent of cases processed within the deadline.

Foot Anstey Solicitors associate Alan Hughes, whose firm has been representing former Park Row advisers, says the FSA has been slow in processing applications for many small IFA firms, not only ex-Park Row advisers. He says: “I get the impression that since the credit crunch, the FSA has decided to tighten up and look at applications more carefully but it appears completely unable to discriminate between high-risk and low-risk applications. It is applying a blanket approach to all applications which is completely unjustified.”

Aifa director Robert Sinclair says: “With the FSA’s new focus on having a stronger gatekeeper role, firm authorisations are taking considerably longer, with more documentation needed and senior individuals being interviewed by the FSA more rigorously.

“We welcome the fact there is more rigour around making sure that only good firms come to market but we would not want the regulator to be stopping individuals from trading where they are just moving from one regulated entity to another.”

Data obtained from a Freedom of Information request by law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain reveals that between the second quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2010 the average waiting time for FSA authorisation nearly trebled from 7.9 weeks to 21.1 weeks.


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There are 14 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. No doubt those firms who are the cause of this failure in standards for having the temerity to apply for authorisation will be censored and fined.

  2. The FSA has failed again, how much more of this do we have to take? A regulator that cannot meet its own standards. It begs the question (yet again) ‘who checks the checker?’ Bet we all know the answer to that one!!

  3. "we're 'avin a laugh!" 14th October 2010 at 9:18 am

    just about somes them up really!!
    the termerity, i feel, lies with the FSA for being totally incompetent in dealing with complaints for and on behalf of clients and dealing with dodgy banks and brokers!!
    what a shower!

  4. We now need a regulator for the regulator and shortly after a regulator for the regulator of the regulator.

  5. The thing that gets me is that the FSA puts out this tenuous Treating Customers Fairly mularchy that is only really understood by compliance bores and yet the FSA fails to treat their customers, i.e. us IFAs, fairly. Now if it weren’t so serious, that would be delicious irony!

  6. Will somebody fine them for faliure to achive competant status?

    Don t they need to Treat their customers Fairly or are ethics not applicable to them.

    The more rules they have the more staff they will need you got to keep these failed salepeople in jobs.

    What ratio do they work on it will need to be at least 2 FSA unqualified plonkers to one IFA to check .

    Why does the mainstream press ignore this whole situation.

  7. wheres the statutory FSA spokeman with their condescending comment/preaching?

  8. Physician heal thyself 14th October 2010 at 10:22 am

    Physician heal thyself

    TCF applies to the FSA as well as those they persecute (I mean regulate).

  9. I recently moved from one company to another and the FSA approval came through in 24 hours, so I can’t complain really. I must be one of the 25%. It’s not good enough though is it?
    I’m not aware of another industry that leaves it’s members in such prolonged limbo, unable to earn their crust simply because they’re moving from one firm to another.
    I do hope by the way, that whoever “we’re avin a laugh is”, he/she uses spellcheck before sending out any suitability letters. Ye gods!

  10. If an individual is simply moving from one regulated firm to another, why are any checks needed whatsoever ?

    Each individual has their own FSA number (and history attached), each firm has its own number (and history attached) and each network has its own number (and history attached). Should be a 5-minute job by some underling on minimum wage – not that anyone at the FSA is on the minimum wage !

  11. Yet more evidence, as if any were needed, that the FSA is totally unfit for purpose. Any comment from anyone at the FSA, or is it another case of no one being available?

    As for “internal service standards”, these are obviously accorded no more attention than the maximum expenses allowed for various things ~ when it suits the FSA, they’re just ignored.

    But will the CPMA be any different? Not, it seems, if Mark Hoban has anything to do with it.

  12. They are failing because they do not care. Can they be sued for loss of earnings. “no chance” They are going in 2012 and therefore apathey will be the word and they will cause as much damage to the industry as they can.

  13. Been waiting 7 weeks monday now and they won’t speak to me or even confirm why its not been done. The people chasing it for me say they have to tread carefully to protect their relationship as you can’t seem to be pestering them about it…!! And if there is a problem they have still yet be asked for any additional information. If I had given them the same response about any of their questions I’m sure I’d be shut down by now.

  14. Neil F Liversidge 16th October 2010 at 11:32 am

    To ‘anonymous’ above who asked “If an individual is simply moving from one regulated firm to another, why are any checks needed whatsoever ?”

    You have clearly not grasped the real purpose of this exercise, which is to keep apparatchiks in gainful employment. If things were organised in the common-sense way that you suggest then there would be no need for so many checkers. That would mean there would be no need for so many managers. That would mean less senior managers and so on, right the way up to the top. If this anarchic situation was allowed to come about then sooner or later the entire gravy train would come to a halt and they’s have to find proper jobs. How could you be so heartless as to wush that upon them>

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