Readers may remember a scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in which a huge boulder comes rolling down the cave towards the hero.
IFAs may feel as if their careers follow a similar pattern, dodging every hazard the FSA can roll at them. But maybe it is the FSA that will have some acrobatics to perform if it is not to be flattened by the National Audit Commission report due this year. It could also clobber the Office of Fair Trading, or at least how the two organisations work together.
Money Marketing first mentioned the possibility of NAO scrutiny more than a year ago. It was suggested by the chairman of the influential public accounts committee Edward Leigh. As Leigh is a Conservative, some people discounted the idea.
But then the Treasury decided to let the NAO take a look. Now sources suggest the NAO has found problems with the way that the various regulatory and governmental bodies overseeing financial services coordinate. They are expected to look at economic, competitive and price regulation. Of great relevance to IFAs is the suggestion that the NAO believes the issue of commission cannot be resolved by one body alone. The NAO believes that the different remits of the FSA and OFT prevent decisive action being taken.
This report is due in the spring so a lot could happen between now and then. The FSA may be looking over its shoulder. It might make the retail distribution review pale into insignificance. Of course, IFAs, just like Indiana, must stay light on their feet because while the FSA may have to change its ways, it will not necessarily be good news for advisers as a result.