The Government has been urged to retain the FSA’s independent appeal process under the Financial Conduct Authority.
A frequently asked questions document on FCA transition, published by the FSA last week, reveals that a decision on whether to retain the Regulatory Decisions Committee has yet to be made.
The RDC hears appeals against enforcement, authorisation and supervisory decisions. It is made up of external committee members from the industry, including IFAs, who report to the FSA board.
Separately, the Financial Services Bill, which sets out the legislation for the new regulatory structure, includes proposals to limit the remit of the Upper Tribunal, which is the second stage of the appeals process after the RDC.
ABI head of prudential regulation John Breckenridge says: “The lack of accountability is one of our most significant concerns about the Financial Services Bill. An independent RDC and Tribunal are necessary to contest potentially arbitrary and inconsistent decisions made by regulators. We urge the Government to ensure that decisions cannot be taken at the whim of the regulator with no mechanism for appeal.”
Foot Anstey partner Alan Hughes says: “If the RDC is removed it would make it harder to challenge issues such as authorisation decisions.”
Aurora Financial Planning chartered financial planner Aj Somal says: “An independent appeals process must be in place.”
The Treasury was not available for comment.