The FSA has warned advice firms that also want to operate as platforms against using “smoke and mirror” tactics to take extra charges.
Speaking at The Platforum annual conference in London last week, FSA technical specialist Rory Percival said the FSA will check vertically integrated firms have the relevant expertise in place and are fulfilling all the duties required of platforms.
Percival said: “There can be no smoke and mirrors in this area. Firms need to be operating fully as a platform, not just saying they are a platform and taking extra remuneration. It is something we are very alert to and we are careful to ensure firms know the requirements and are meeting all those requirements.”
Percival went on to make clear firms moving to such vertically integrated structures will need the relevant permissions, capital requirements and have sufficient skilled persons in place to meet the regulator’s expectations.
He said: “We see the move towards vertical integration as a market movement and there is nothing wrong with market movements. But it is the FSA’s job to analyse the possible risks coming out of those movements.”