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FSA sets out transparency plans for FCA

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The FSA has ruled out the prospect of the Financial Conduct Authority naming and shaming firms where thematic reviews expose poor practice.

The regulator has published a discussion paper on how the FCA could improve transparency and accountability and how the financial services industry could be more accountable to consumers. The proposals follow discussions with trade bodies and consumer groups.

Consumer bodies lobbied for the FCA to disclose firm-specific results of thematic work. The FSA has rejected this idea, saying it is legally bound by confidentiality restrictions and its public censure process under the Financial Services and Markets Act.

Instead it proposes publishing results of thematic reviews on an anonymous basis, plus more information about enforcement activities, such as why particular topics have been focused on and the length and cost of investigations.

The regulator has proposed providing more detail about the average time it takes for firms to become authorised and the broad reasons why applications are refused.

It has also suggested revealing more information about compensation to be paid to consumers where redress has been agreed as part of the settlement of an enforcement case.

The FSA is considering providing whistleblowers with a written response advising whether the FCA plans to take any action and provide an overview of next steps.

The FSA says: “This will help our stakeholders and the public judge our actions and hold us to account.”

Capital Asset Management chief executive Alan Smith says: “In this new age of openness and transparency, measures like these are to be welcomed.”

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