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FSA warning that industry faces unwelcome EU rules

The FSA is warning that unwelcome European Union financial regulation

will be foisted upon the UK unless the industry does more to

influence the debate on financial services at EU commission level.

Speaking to Money Mark-eting, FSA international affairs and EU policy

associate Nigel Phipps says there are real risks in the present

negotiations with Europe and admits its regulatory structure will

have to change and adapt to EU legislation.

Such risks include the imposition of a regulatory structure more akin

to Euro-pean markets than the UK market and the implementation of the

investment service directive which could constrain investment advice

to a fee-only basis.

Phipps says foreign-owned companies are putting more resources into

influencing Brussels than UK firms.

The Commission&#39s Fin-ancial Services Action Plan is fast-tracking

legislation to meet its 2005 target date for a single market for

financial services.

Aifa director general Paul Smee says: “The domestic agenda is so busy

that people are not looking to Brussels but the EU does not go out of

their way to ensure people are aware of what is going on.”

Threadneedle deputy chairman Alan Ainsworth says: “People are

underestimating the impact of Brussels – their eyes just glaze over.”

Phipps says: “The danger of complacency is that we end up with

something we do not want.

“There are real risks in this process. We will not win every argument

and there will be things that we will not like.”

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