During the past couple of years we have read tome after tome from the FSA. It wants clarity and transparency from us yet hides behind smokescreens and mirrors in an attempt to thwart EU law.
I would ask the FSA to be totally honest for a change and tell us where these new initiatives emanate from.
Would it please confirm that the likes of principle-based regulation are spawned by the EU and not the FSA, that the treating customers fairly regime is simply the rubberstamped EU unfair commercial practices directive which comes into force in April 2008 and that the RDR is a cunning plan to make IFAs think they need to change their business model to fit what the banks are offering – which is compensation without question and thousands of people the FSA can merrily regulate – whereas all IFAs need to do is change their part IV permissions and increase capital adequacy to £30,000 in order to become Mifid firms.
An IFA could also open an HQ in another EU state and save a packet in regulatory costs, avoid the legal uncertainty of the FOS and evade the black hole that is the FSCS.
The FSA is trying to justify 2,500 highly paid jobs. Money Marketing editor John Lappin once asked why we would need that many people to rubberstamp EU regulations and I could not think of a single reason.
The only way the FSA can exist in its present form is to create the lower bands of adviser and, hey presto, they can keep their feet under those expensive desks.
Simon Mansell eventually got it in black and white that the menu and IDD were dropped because they were illegal. Can you remember which representative body claimed that it designed the menu in the first place without questioning the legality of it?
Come on , you regulators. We are not all stupid, you know. Let us draw a line in the sand and stop all this obfuscation now.
While I am writing, we would like to know in advance what rules a Mifid adviser will have to follow, rather than have red sections in the rulebook that simply tell us they will come into force on November 1, 2007.
We would also appreciate a level playing field as far as the cost of regulatory fees, levies and PI insurance are concerned.
Why should a German or French IFA pay out a tiny fraction of what a UK IFA has to find every year?
What happens to the FOS under the new complaint procedures? What does the future hold for the FSCS?
In other words, is this all going to fall apart and is that why the Leviathan is running around like the proverbial headless chicken? Will parts of the FSMA 2000 be repealed eventually, just as the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 and Part III of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 will be when the UCPD bites?