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FSAVC review goes online

The FSA is issuing IFA firms with software which will allow them to record

their work on the FSAVC review. It will also let them submit returns over

the internet.

Details of how to access the software – called the FSAVC Review Reporter –

will be issued to 1,500 IFA firms with cases to review next week and the

system itself goes live on Monday, May 21.

Since small IFA firms usually have only a very small number of FSAVC cases

to deal with, the FSA wanted to set up a free, simple and easy way for them

to record their work and send the information to us.

Setting up an online system makes sense in today&#39s world. The FSAVC Review

Reporter is a user-friendly system that puts the IFA firmly in control.

IFAs will be able to log on and download the Reporter complete with details

of all their cases. The details on the Reporter are the same details that

were submitted to us at the start of the review. IFAs can then record their

work on those cases as they go along, for example, by recording the date

they started a loss assessment or when they sent a letter to the investor.

The Reporter provides help and advice on how to answer each question and,

by completing the details, IFAs know they are meeting most of the FSA&#39s

record-keeping rules. When they are ready, IFAs can then submit their

return at a touch of a button and will also get confirmation that we have

received their return. No more anxious fretting at the fax machine.

Once downloaded from the FSA, the FSAVC Review Reporter will be available

for IFA firms whenever they want to use it. Returns should be submitted

between 6am and 10pm as the system is closed overnight for information

back-ups and security measures.

Security has been a very important issue for us and we have only gone live

after rigorous testing by a specialist external company.

Fortunately, its Codebus-ter team was unable to break the security, which

means the records are secure. It is reassuring to know that even the

specialists were not able to crack the system.

For those of you interested in the technical side, the FSAVC Review

Reporter is an Oracle database that can be accessed from any computer

connected to the internet. Connection to the FSA is via a secure link and

firms will need to use a password and user name to access their files. We

will issue the passwords and user names next week.

Of course, if an IFA firm wants to send in its quarterly return on paper,

it can. However, the FSA is keen to avoid multiple returns and there is no

need to send in a paper return as well as an online submission. The

Reporter tells you that you have submitted your return successfully.

We issued details of the reporting requirements on May 8. Firms with up to

50 cases to review have to submit quarterly progress reports beginning in

June. We estimate small IFA firms have about 6,000 cases to review out of a

grand total of 125,000 cases.

We have set up a dedicated helpline on 020 7676 3060. The helpline team

will issue IFAs with advice on using the Reporter if necessary.

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