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FSA will recruit independent to hear complaints

The FSA is recruiting an independent commissioner to head its new complaints sch eme set up to investigate con sumer and industry grievances against the regulator.

Under the new body, IFAs could receive compensation if the FSA is found guilty of misconduct in areas such as poor admin or lack of integrity in its dealing with them.

The complaints commissioner will be independent of the FSA and will have the res ources to conduct full investigations and publish reports on issues of public interest.

The FSA starts a consultation period this week but the complaints scheme will not come into effect until later next year when the FSA assumes its full powers.

The appointment of the commissioner will be subject to Treasury approval but the FSA will be advised on the appointment by the non-executive deputy chairman of the FSA, the financial services practitioners forum and the chairman of the financial services consumer panel.

The complaints commissioner will not be based at the FSA and the scheme will be staffed by employees independent of the regulator.

FSA spokesman Robin Gordon-Walker says: “We want to keep the recruitment pro cess as open as possible. The right person for the job might not necessarily be from the financial services industry.”

Maddison Monetary Man agement managing director Mark Howard says: “There was a big fear the FSA would become a police force you could not properly criticise but if it is prepared to say it is wrong and potentially pay out, this could mean a positive wind of change.”

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