The FSA is to send staff out to shadow financial advisers, it was revealed at Money Marketing Live in Manchester this week.
FSA group manager, themes, investment firms division Paul Rich says the regulator is to send staff into IFA practices for a week of “shadowing the adviser” in a bid to help FSA staff understand the nature of IFA businesses.
Rich admitted that many FSA staff are lacking in knowledge over how advisers and consumers interact.
Working with Aifa and the Institute of Financial Planning, the project will see staff, including the FSA's customer service managers who handle calls from IFAs, shadowing different types of advisers, from commissionpaid advisers to holistic financial planners to gauge differences in industry practice.
IFP chief executive Nick Cann says: “People have forever been saying that the FSA has no clue how the industry operates. In the past, the regulator has been criticised for tarring the entire industry with the same brush. This initiative will help them understand the different types of activities advisers and planners do – such as fact-finding and advice.”
Rich said: “I believe this will equip FSA staff to understand better how advisers operate on a day to day. This is not an audit and advisers have nothing to fear from the process.”