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FSA rethinks complaint figure over data

The FSA has confirmed its new data collection regime for advisers and has raised minimum complaint reporting requirements from a £5,000 claim to an upheld complaint worth £50,000.

In its policy statement on data collection, published this week, the regulator backtracked on proposals it set out in May, which said complaints would have to be reported if the related figure was £5,000 or higher, regardless of whether the complaint was upheld or rejected.

The FSA says: “This change is driven by our risk-based approach to identifying the most significant cases and we believe offers a good balance between our supervisory responsibilities and the need to apply our resources efficiently.”

The regulator also decided against its proposals to force advisers to report individual payments received in the reporting period of their retail mediation activities return. Firms will only be required to report charges on an accrual basis, inclusive of VAT.

The policy statement confirmed that advisers will have to break down their adviser charging structure to notify the regulator if the firm is providing independent or restricted advice, initial or ongoing advice and if the payment is collected directly from clients, via product providers or via platforms.

The new rules will come into force in the first reporting period after December 31, 2012.

PMI Independent Financial Advisers director John Stewart says: “Raising the complaint figure will make life easier on advisers.”

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  1. FSA have confirmed that firms will only be required to report charges on an accrual basis, exclusive of VAT.

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