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MM leader: Axing independent appeals would be a backward step

The regulatory decisions committee plays an important role in holding the FSA to account over its enforcement, authorisation and supervisory decisions. It is made up of 11 members from across the industry and includes lawyers, advisers and actuaries. It acts as a vital independent adjudicator of regulatory decisions which affect people’s livelihoods.

It is therefore a major worry that the proposed Consumer Protection and Markets Authority may not have an independent appeals committee, with concerns mounting that the RDC may be replaced by an appeal committee of CPMA executives.

The Treasury remains silent on the matter, although a number of bodies, including Aifa and the Financial Services Consumer Panel, have expressed worries that the new regulatory framework is moving in this direction. Scrapping this independent appeals process would be a truly retrograde step.

An independent appeals panel made up of individuals working in the industry is an essential check and balance to a powerful regulator who can remove an individual’s right to trade. For example, Money Marketing recently reported that the RDC had overturned the FSA’s decision to deny reauthorisation to a former Park Row adviser.

Lawyers suggest other advisers have had bans or authorisation refusals overturned by a committee which is far more in tune with the realities of working in the industry. It cannot be right that the independent appeals committee is scrapped and the new regulator is made the judge, jury and executioner.

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Comments

There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. As with the issue of restoring to advisers the protection of the 15 year longstop (which is Law), the FSA/CPMA will probably reject calls for maintaining the independent appeals process on the grounds that it sees no benefit for consumers from so doing. By such pernicious logic, the FSA has effectively empowered itself to deny advisers any and every right you care to name. Law maker, judge, jury and executioner without recourse for the hapless victim to any appeals process. And to think we have to pay for this kind of dictatorial tyranny. So much for democracy.

  2. When the regulator is also the consumer champion, there is a clear conflict of interest.
    The regulator knows it is acting outside the law with regard to the lack of a 15 year longstop, otherwise it would publish the legal basis for its argument.
    The fsa is determined to make the ifa pay for any detriment to consumers whether this is real or perceived.
    That is why they introduced TCF. If the regulator deems it to be unfair, then it is, regardless of the law.
    We need an IFA champion.
    .

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