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FSA RDR chief Dan Waters moves to new role in shake-up

FSA head of the RDR Dan Waters is to step aside as part of a major internal restructure at the regulator.

This week’s Money Marketing reveals that the FSA is creating a new retail conduct risk division, to be headed up by Waters, tasked with assessing and mitigating risks to consumers.

It will also support FSA supervisors and analyse emerging risks across the retail market.

Waters, who is currently head of retail policy, has been one of the driving forces behind the RDR since its inception.

The news follows Amanda Bowe’s move away from the RDR remit in July last year and Treating Customers Fairly director Sarah Wilson’s resignation last month.

An FSA spokesman says Waters will only switch roles once a new director of retail policy is appointed, but gave no details on the timeframe. The position is open to internal and external applicants.

He says: “Our conduct risk department was introduced into the retail policy division late last year to help the FSA better understand the actual conduct of a firm and identify gaps between what senior management tell us and what is happening on the ground.

“The new retail conduct risk division will support an even greater focus on how firms ensure positive consumer outcomes, and enhance our commitment to the effective protection of consumer interests.”

He insists the RDR resources and timeframe will remain the same.

Personal Finance Society chief executive Fay Goddard says of the restructure: “I’m not surprised. The FSA has had to restructure because the perception is that it has failed consumers. It is an inevitable reaction to market conditions.

“Dan is the right person for the new division with his experience in the retail sector.”

Technology & Technical founder Kim North says: “I’m worried that the FSA will recruit someone from one of the big accountancy firms to the RDR. We need someone who knows what it is like to sit behind a desk and advise clients.”

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