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FSA screens letters to non-execs

The FSA is intercepting lobbying letters sent to its non-executive directors by trade bodies and other organisations.

The move has been attacked by lawyers, with Fishburn Law partner Andrew Davis saying the action is regrettable at a time when the principle of increasing non-executive responsibility is growing in importance.

Davis says the FSA should be seen to be ensuring that board members, including non-executives, have access to all information.

He says: “This appears to be a regrettable move from the FSA at a time when the broad principle of non-executive directors’ responsibility is of growing importance. The FSA should be seen to be taking a balanced view and this decision does the opposite.”

Reynolds Porter Chamberlain partner Jonathan Davies says the decision is worrying if it means that non-executives are only seeing items passed on to them by executives.

Institute of Insurance Brokers director general Andrew Paddick says the regulator is showing “flagrant disregard” for the duties of non-executive directors in taking account of external views and opinions.

But the FSA says it is following common market practice to prevent non-executive directors being deluged with correspondence on day-to-day issues.

Spokeswoman Sam Bennett says specific lobbying arguments are put to the board in their totality at the appropriate time, which is common practice in business.

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