The Financial Services Authority is launching a clampdown on IFAs which fail to prepare for the millennium computer bug.
The FSA has released a policy statement calling for firms to take action.
It is warning IFAs it will intervene if they fail to update their systems.
The bug could cause many computers to crash in the run- up to 2000 because they use software systems unable to cope with the change of date.
The FSA says it will monitor firms' progress. It could demand external reviews of a firm's readiness for the date change.
A risk profile will be developed for each authorised firm. The FSA has set up a Year 2000 unit to oversee the FSA's supervisory work and represent the FSA on national, international and other bodies concerned with the bug.
Head of financial supervision Michael Foot says: “The year 2000 is a major supervisory priority for the FSA. The responsibility for ensuring financial institutions are millennium compliant rests with the boards and senior management's for firms.”
Kangley Financial Planning principal Geoff Kangley says: “I think it is highly worthwhile. Any individual who has not addressed the year 2000 problem deserves locking up.”
FSA press officer Jackie Blyth says: “Firms have an obligation to ensure they are ready. If they are not, then we will take appropriate action.”