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Lautro 12 verdict could open door on naming firms

The Information Commissioner’s decision to order the FSA to name the 12 endowment providers which misused Lautro projections to set premiums could open the floodgates for similar requests, says a leading compliance consultant.

Adam Samuel says the decision, revealed in last week’s Money Marketing, could set a precedent for similar requests to name firms that have come under pressure to pay compensation without publicity.

He says: “The commissioner must be right to conclude that the FSA should not be doing private deals. There is a public interest in the regulator operating in a reasonably open way but there will still be a balancing test to apply.”

The FSA has yet to decide whether to appeal against the commissioner’s decision.

The request for the companies to be named was made by IFA Defence Union chairman Evan Owen in January 2005 and was rejected by the FSA.

The FSA claimed the revelation would affect future informal reviews, damage market confidence and infringe the providers’ rights.

CMS Cameron McKenna partner Simon Morris warns the decision could have dangerous implications in terms of future industry willingness to co-operate with informal FSA work.

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