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FSA to publish &#39simple guide&#39 to handbook

The FSA has pledged to design a simple guide to its regulatory handbook after a report by its practitioner panel criticised it for not being user-friendly.

Following the report published in January, FSA head of investment firms David Kenmir admitted that he struggles at times to understand some aspects of the handbook.

At a PI roadshow hosted by the FSA in London last week, Kenmir said one of the ongoing projects of the regulator is to create a simpler version of its lengthy handbook.

A move to streamline the book, which runs into thousands of pages, has been welcomed by IFAs, who have long complained about its complexity.

This level of detail has been compared by IFAs with the Declaration of the Chinese People&#39s Conference written in Mandarin and some say it seems longer than the collected rulings of the US Supreme Court, the British Constitution and the Bible put together.

The FSA says it will produce the simple guide with the aim of helping IFAs navigate the handbook and hopes to publish it in the summer.

Michael Philips proprietor Michael Both says: “They should not do a simple guide to the handbook, they should do a simple handbook that people can follow.”

Syndaxi Financial Planning principal Robert Reid says: “When you feel the need to produce a guide to the guide, I think you have to admit that you have lost your way.”

Whitechurch Securities chairman Kean Seager says: “Any simplification would be largely helpful but I do not believe for one moment that the FSA is capable of writing something that is understandable to anyone who is not a full-time compliance officer.”

FSA spokeswoman Louise Buckley says: “Our relations with firms have indicated it would be welcome. It will make it easier for even the smallest one-man band to comply with regulation.”

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