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FSA patrols high street on loans and general cover

The FSA is setting up a high-street division with responsibility for the regulation of mortgages and general insurance.

The division will be in operation from April 2 and will have three principal responsibilities – designing policy for the regulation of the mortgage and general insurance sectors, authorisation of firms active in those sectors and the supervision of intermediaries.

The FSA says it does not know if it will include responsibility for non-life protection products such as critical-illness cover, income protection and private medical insurance as it claims the Treasury has yet to define what it means by general insurance.

The industry expects these areas to be included when the Treasury releases further details in its legislation for consultation in July.

The high-street firms division will be headed by Sarah Wilson, head of mortgages and financial promotion.

Two other director-level appointments include head of the press office Vernon Everitt&#39s to director of human resources and Lindsay Thomas, head of regulatory events in the investment firms division, becoming director of authorisation.

The FSA is expected to publish a guide this week for general insurers detailing its attitude towards regulation and the type of changes they may expect once they fall under its auspices.

FSA managing director John Tiner says: “Introduction of mortgage and general insurance regulation involves the creation of two new regulatory regimes and the new division will have a pivotal role in delivering this. The challenge for the FSA is to provide an appropriate level of protection for consumers, which means the regimes must be tailored to the risks and the wide variety of products in these markets.”

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