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IFA fears electronic reporting could block innovation

FSA plans for electronic reporting are in danger of becoming too prescriptive, leaving firms unable to explain the way their firm works, says Worldwide Financial Planning IFA John Shackleton.

Shackleton is concerned that new regulations which take effect from June, will hit specialist firms such as WFP. He claims that the new electronic process could lead to dumbing down, with firms being forced to trade in a uniform way.

The arrangements require firms to submit retail mediation activity returns electronically every three or six months. Shackleton fears they will be less effective than face-to-face visits, where individual needs of specialist firms can be assessed and he says it could drive out innovation.

Shackleton says: “There is a danger that this technology will make the process too prescriptive, eliminating the intellectual side of visits.”

But FSA spokesman Robin Gordon Walker says: “We have got very positive feedback from firms regarding RMAR. Firms should not be wanting too much attention from the FSA.”

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