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FSA issues warning to IFAs

The FSA is warning IFAs they face having their disciplinary records highlighted in a consumer register of authorised firms.

The move comes as part of a get tough regime on rules of entry, which aims to increase consumer confidence that the industry is being properly policed.

The regulator has issued consultation paper outlining the next stage of development of the single authorisation process, which lays down the terms and conditions firms must meet before they are granted permission to conduct business.

The regulator is proposing to keep a register of authorised firms that consumers will be able to use to find out whether a firm is regulated or not, and what activities it has permission to undertake.

Part of that could include a firm&#39s disciplinary record, including any fines, rule breaches and reprimands.

The register will be made available to any consumer who calls the regulator wanting to check up on a firm they are considering using.

The FSA says it will issue an Authorisation Manual early next year when the consultation is completed. It will contain detailed guidance on Qualifying Conditions for Authorisation

FSA Authorisation director David Kenmir says: &#34The FSA is developing its authorisation and supervision process in consultation with the regulated community and we look forward to their feedback on this consultation paper.&#34

But IFAs and their representatives have given the proposals a lukewarm response.

DBS press officer Sue Lewis says: &#34Whilst we support consumer protection we would need to fully understand what this was trying to achieve.&#34

AIFA chief executive Paul Smee says: &#34If it was a significant disciplinary matter then it would probably be well documented anyway, but I&#39m not sure if all disciplinary matters should be included.&#34


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