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Paper tiger

The FSA’s failures over Northern Rock are a body blow to the regulator. The one silver lining is that its internal audit committee did not shirk responsibility and produced a hard-hitting report.

IFAs will be livid about the lost paperwork when many of have been unable to defend against complaints because they do not have paperwork. In some cases, this has been lost by their old networks or was not required in the first place. How it must grate.

Advisers are also wondering whether the FSA’s assessment of risk between big and small players does not need a radical rethink. Money Marketing suggests that, among other things, the FSA readdresses its processes to check for unfairness towards the regulated as well as checking on its ability to do the job of regulating in the first place.

We believe the FSA has far too much on its plate and some radical reorganisation may be required. This could see several functions moved and even new bodies created, such as one promoting financial capability. We believe the FSA is required. It should not see its powers hived off to the Bank of England but its job is to regulate and it should concentrate on that.

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