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Quelle horreur


As the FSA drifts further and further from reality, metaphorically moving imaginary armies on the Elbe, and Hector Sants longs for the day he can decamp to the Bank of England where, no doubt, further professional failure awaits him, the finance industry watches horror struck from the sidelines.

There is a constant naivety from the IFA sector. The incoming Government was quite clear even before the election it wanted to break the IFA, small business division of the industry.

We have an administration that sees it as Government business what we eat, drink, if we smoke and the remuneration system for financial advice, but seems to care not for its prime constitutional responsibility – defence of the realm.

 In Brussels, in the last two years alone I have voted on the standardisation of tractor seats, shape and size of bananas, ingredients of novelty foods and naked short-selling. My Parliament spews out 2,000 regulations a year. In six and a half years I cannot remember any that have favoured small businesses. It is possible the EU will rescue IFAs from the grip of the FSA but only in much the same way as Stalin ’rescued’ eastern Europe in 1945. One look and the common fisheries policy should tell the industry what lies down the road for it when the EU gets its claws in.

The only long-term future for independent advice for middle England will be to fly them easyJet to Basel and set up shop there. Hedge fund managers are already doing it in significant numbers.


UKIP MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire and Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee in the European Parliament



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  1. It may also be worth noting the FSA’s litany of failures to regulate competently many large organisations as well and that in trying to prioritise everything, it ends up prioritising nothing. Rather, by refusing to recognise that there are practical limits to what any organisation can realistically achieve and by striving ever harder to create an ever less attainable perfect world, all it does is to consume ever more money and resources.

    If I may quote yet again from the Statutory Code of Practice For Regulators (, which is supposed to be but which is manifestly not the FSA’s guiding light: “[Regulators should] use their resources in a way that gets the most value out of the effort that they make, whilst delivering significant benefits to low risk and compliant businesses through better-focused inspection activity, increased use of advice for businesses, and lower compliance costs”.

    What hope of that I wonder?

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