The FSA will face more resistance to its investigations in the next year, claims a leading financial law firm.
Reynolds Porter Chamberlain says IFAs and product providers will feel more confident to challenge the regulator through the Financial Services and Markets Tribunal.
RPC says the tribunal disagreed fundamentally with the findings of an FSA investigation for the first time last year when it found the FSA was wrong to have withdrawn the approved status of stockbroker Geoffrey Hoodless.
Legal & General is contesting the FSA's findings against it over alleged mortgage endowment misselling. RPC says this is the first time that the FSA has faced a referral to the tribunal from a major financial services company.
The law firm says most complaints against financial services firms are stimulated by poor market performance so 2003's improved markets might reduce claims.
But partner Jonathan Davies says: “This is counterbalanced by the increasingly onerous standards imposed by the regulators and the widening scope of regulation.
“Firms have in the past been unwilling to take on the FSA but we feel that the decision in the Hoodless case will encourage more resistance.”