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FSA says industry must lead distribution model changes

The FSA has set out its five key priorities for its review of the distribution of retail investments and has called on the industry to take the lead in reforming the market saying it is on the cusp of change.

The FSA’s Retail Distribution Review was launched in June 2006 with the objective of identifying the causes of problems that emerge in the bank, life insurer, financial adviser, building society and fund manager arena.

The five themes the FSA have identified which the review will address are the sustainability of the sector, the impact of incentives, professionalism and reputation, consumer access to financial products and services and regulatory barriers and enablers.

FSA managing director of retail markets Clive Briault says: “We know it is not the job of the FSA to dictate business models so the industry must lead on market solutions, but we are clear that it is right or us to be one of the catalysts for change.

“The industry is on the cusp of change. The areas we have identified are already firmly on the industry’s agenda and we now need to help take this forward. Our desire to act as a catalyst should come as neither as a surprise nor a threat, but as an opportunity.”

Working groups set up by the FSA made up of industry, consumer representatives and FSA staff will explore each theme. The FSA will publish a discussion paper in the middle of next year setting out initial conclusions and recommendations.

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