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IFA networks given last chance to clean up T&C

IFA networks are being given one last chance to get their training and competence regimes right or the FSA will impose a new hard-line regime.

FSA head of training David Jackman has warned that the industry has “one chance and one chance only” to sort out T&C or it will have to suffer under a prescriptive regime.

Jackman issued the warning as the regulator publishes its response to CP34, the consultation paper on T&C.

The FSA will take stock of the industry&#39s progress with T&C in two years. If it does not like what it sees, it will revert to a PIA-type approach to T&C.

For now, the FSA will monitor T&C with a supervision programme being formulated. Under the new prop- osals, firms will have to keep records to show why training decisions were made rather than just list courses attended.

The regulator also intends to bolster its supervision of back-office administration in a bid to counteract the number of human errors.

Jackman says IFAs have been experiencing a high rate of such errors, including product performance calculations.

He says the FSA&#39s next move will be to “get to grips” with exams and it is calling a meeting on September 4 to start the process.

It envisages IFAs sitting one FPC exam, set at a higher standard than at present, with modules which will allow people to specialise. IFAs may also be able to download some lower-level exams over the internet and sit them with a compliance officer present.

The FSA also wants to discuss bringing in one set of designatory letters to clear up the confusion.

Jackman says: “If the industry is not successful, we will fall back on a more prescriptive, mechanical approach. They have got one chance and one chance only.”

Sofa spokesman Robert Reid says: “I am not convinced everyone has grasped the extent of the obligation.”

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