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FSA shadows get a taste of the real world of IFAs

Two FSA staff have completed a work-shadowing placement with firms of financial advisers.

The regulators spent a working week accompanying advisers in part of a six-month programme to give members of the FSA’s retail team a broader understanding of the issues affecting intermediaries.

A third FSA member of staff is undertaking another work shadowing programme this week as part of the scheme which stemmed from industry response and criticism from the FSA practitioner panel that staff failed to fully understand the role of smaller firms.

The FSA regards the scheme as particularly important with depolarisation and the new basic advice process coming into full force later this year.

West Midlands-based Prestwood Financial Planning were one of the first firms to take part in the shadowing, which has been organised through the Institute of Financial Planning and Aifa.

Prestwood director Paul Etheridge says: “This enables FSA staff to be with a financial planner for several days and to get an insight into the real world of helping clients with their financial planning and investment decisions.

“Somewhat to my surprise, clients readily agreed to the shadow sitting in on their meetings with me so he was able to witness the entire financial planning process.”

FSA sector manager for retail intermediaries Paul Rich says: “This scheme is an important part of ensuring that the FSA develops the breadth and depth of sector-specific knowledge among our people. We hope it will help make the FSA easier to do business with, especially for small firms and that more firms will come forward to help with future placements.”

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