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FSA policy seems to be set in stone

The responses to CP121 are clearly unanimously critical of the FSA&#39s apparent determination to proceed with its one-sided tweaking of the financial services distributive channels.

What is both frustrating and infuriating is the transparency of the charade that is being portrayed as a “consultation”. From the stance taken and vigorously defended by David Severn, Mr Tiner and the group of regulatory tinkerers, it is clear that no one is listening. If they were, you might have expected to hear the odd acknowledgement that the vast array of opponents might indeed have a valid point or two. But not a flicker can be detected in the unyielding position.

What is puzzling is the reason why? Why is an industry that has spent the past 15 years in one form of turmoil or another, deserving of further attack to the point of destruction?

The OFT has never understood this industry and has consistently initiated changes that have had the opposite effect to the one intended.

The obsession with commission is bewildering. Numerous commercial enterprises operate on commission whether it is called that or not. Banks build in commission when borrowing and lending money. Countries build in a “turn” on importing and exporting products on the wider world market. So, why is there such a preoccupation to rid the financial world of commission? If it would help, it could be redesignated as fees, fees built into a product&#39s costs to enable the lowest earners to benefit from receiving advice that they would ordinarily not be able to afford.

Yet, the whole regulatory world is intent on pursuing a policy that is being treated as though it were carved in tablets of stone by the Almighty. It is time that some responsible person stepped in and brought this dangerous game to a halt.

The proposition is so bizarre that it even finds itself in headlong collision with E.U. directives. But on this occasion, it would seem that the pro-EU lobby is prepared to stand by and witness the chaos that is bound to follow. What is wrong with everybody?

Buck Lopez

Capital Financial Services IFA



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