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FSA gains power to publish enforcements at earlier stage

The Government has given the FSA the power to publicise its enforcement actions at an earlier stage in the enforcement process.

A Commencement Order set out in Parliament by the Treasury today has granted the FSA the power to publish decision notices as well as final notices from the regulator’s enforcement division.

This means that the FSA can publicise enforcement actions earlier, rather than only at the final notice stage after the person involved has has had the opportunity to refer the matter to a tribunal.

The order has also enacted powers that form part of the Financial Services Act 2010 which allow the FSA to set up consumer redress schemes to deal with specific market failures.

An effective 15-year long stop would apply to advice reviewed by these specific consumer redress schemes.

The power would be used in instances where there is evidence of widespread or regular failings that have caused consumer detriment.

FSA managing director of risk Sally Dewar says: “This power to deliver prompt and effective redress for consumers is an important new tool for the FSA, which increases our ability to get redress for consumers when firms have not followed our rules.

“The power would obviously be used proportionately. It is not a substitute for working with industry where there is the potential to bring an issue to a fair and speedy conclusion.

“The FSA will, however, seek to use this power where necessary to ensure consumers are fairly treated.”

The order also includes the requirement for the FSA to have regard to the information provided by the Consumer Finance and Education Body in pursuit of its consumer protection objective.


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There are 11 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Be afraid, very afraid. I had an order made public despite it being incorrect. You cannot get the FSA to correct this mistake without going through a process potentially lasting years and costing, for me, close to 80,000.

    Whilst they have the ability to issue the notice there is virtually NO ability to get it corrected. And, of course, all you IFAs know there is no ability to sue or even reclaim costs from the FSA even if you win your case.

  2. This world has gone mad with regulation.
    22 years on and they still do not know what they are doing, will never get it right and make up rules that are very difficult to follow.
    I bet customers are actually not better off now. The costs for compliance is huge, who pays it, YES CLIENTS.
    Has anyone asked the question, have the FSA treated customers fairly.
    If we get the product controls in place re advice and took away the FSA I am sure consumers would benefit from cheaper products.

  3. Frightening

    Looks like they can decide you are guilty and ruin your business BEFORE you go to tribunal.

    If the tribunal finds you innocent no doubt the FSA will say they are really sorry for messing up you life and business but will you get compensated – I doubt it.

  4. I’m probably being a bit stupid but if the FSA is being shut down why are they still actively passing rules etc etc ?

  5. That’s it folks. A culmination of these types of stories and the disinclination to sit any more exams has made my mind up for me.
    After 22 years in the business I do not see any prospect for things to get better.
    Now making arrangements for my clients to lbe looked after by someone who has the appetite to carry on

  6. “The Government has given the FSA the power to publicise its enforcement actions at an earlier stage in the enforcement process.”

    Funny that ~ I seem to recall Hector Sants stating on national TV that the FSA is entirely independent of Government.

    The ONLY way in which the FSA is independent of government is the way in which it’s funded, namely by levies raised on the basis of Pay up or pack up.

    That aside, why has the FSA sought this power in the first place? Just how will it “ensure consumers are fairly treated” in a way that the present system does not?

    Nobody could reasonably argue that the FSA shouldn’t have powers to punish those who act in a way which is detrimental to consumers and to obtain speedy redress. Every bent copper, as the saying goes, is a stain on the reputations of all the honest ones. But where is the rationale for allowing the FSA to publicise someone’s guilt (in their opinion) before they’ve had the opportunity to refer the matter to a tribunal which might well exonerate them? It just seems to be another cudgel with which to batter IFA’s into oblivion.

    And isn’t the FSCS a redress scheme to deal with specific market failures? What this smacks of is yet another tier of levies coming down the pike ~ FSA, FOS, FSCS, CFEB and now yet another scheme for which the industry will have to foot the bill. Talk about bleeding us dry ~ it’s a nightmare.

  7. Guilty until you are proved innocent. FSA are Judge, Jury and Executioner.TCF!!!,your having a laugh FSA.

  8. In the old Soviet Union, they sometimes made a mistake of publishing the court verdict before the trial had even begun.

    Well done comrade Hector,you do the Kremlin proud

  9. Shame we can’t do the same to the FSA before they make any more mistakes

  10. In the Old Soviet Union you could be exonerated of your crime, but it didn’t really help much as you’d usually been shot in the meantime.
    With the FSA, your clients will have been let down as your locum will have been forced to cover for you or a new adviser found, you’ll have no home, your capital adequacy will have been wiped out by ngoing costs (including FSA and PII fees) and once your capital adequacy has gone, your PII will lapse, removing your protection for all your remaining clients. To add insult to injury, you’d then have financial problems which would mean the FSA coudl ban you for being fir and proper. All despite being found innocent at the tribunul.
    What a laugh. I think I’ll be leaving before 2013 too now.

  11. Good…..about time.

    For too long IFAs and in particular Principal firms have taken the ‘see you in court’ approach to their customers even when the customers are blatantly in the right.

    The only caveat is of course that FSA use these new powers correctly, impartially and objectively, something they havent done with their existing powers up till now…….

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