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FSA sends out warning on IDD and menu non-compliance

A high proportion of firms’ initial disclosure documents and menus, designed using the FSA templates, fail to comply with requirements, according to the FSA.

The regulator’s post implementation review of COBS, published today, says breaches include missing registered trademark symbols, missing information on the varying cost of personal pension schemes and incorrect payment options.

The FSA says in contrast, all firms that developed their own documents as an alternative to using the COBS guidance templates were compliant, in research commissioned by the regulator.

From November last year firms were allowed to choose whether to use the FSA’s template for the IDD and menu, or design their own.

In the review the FSA also says it is disappointed that more firms have not used the greater flexibility in COBS as an opportunity to improve their suitability reports.

The FSA says: “Evidence so far indicates that around 50 per cent of firms survey have made changes to the format/approach of their suitability reports since November 2007. However, with only two exceptions, the sample documentation reviewed does not demonstrate the degree of change and improvement this figure would imply in terms of clearer, more targeted presentation of information.

“These findings underline the need for us to continue to reinforce messages around quality of advice processes.”

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