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Hindsight for sore IFAs

Ron Sandler, for once, is absolutely right when he says the FSA&#39s refusal to provide a clear definition of misselling will lead to more scandals which will damage the industry.

Whatever are we paying the FSA for? You can bet your bottom dollar – to which an increasing number of practitioners are getting perilously close – the FSA will have no such reluctance when the opportunity presents itself for another hindsight review.

In fact, Clive Briault all but admits this when he says the regulator is “looking very hard” at the areas of pension unlocking and equity release (for which read looking very hard for its next opportunity for a hindsight review).

Surely, given the vast amounts it charges in levies, shouldn&#39t the FSA be looking very hard at ways to help the industry avoid any more misselling scandals before they happen? Of what use is the FSA if all it can do is react to misselling practices after they have happened because it failed to formulate and publish adequate guidelines beforehand?

How can it be that the very organisation created to police and promote high standards of product selling, in the interests of consumer protection, is either unwilling or unable to define just what constitutes misselling before it takes place?

Something is very wrong and all of us out here know it. When will the FSA face up to its responsibilities and do its job properly instead of hammering the industry that supports its very existence with yet more crippling hindsight reviews? These are the things that are causing rocketing FSCS levies and PI premiums and grinding ever more IFA businesses into bankruptcy. Does anybody at Canary Wharf understand this or even care about it? Some hope.

Julian Stevens

WDS, Bristol

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