In today’s consultation paper on delivering the RDR the FSA says it is expecting a short to medium term increase in complaints.
It adds that firms will need to direct some consumer complaints to professional bodies or the FSA, following proposals to give the regulator oversight responsibilities for professional standards and a role for professional bodies in ensuring standards are maintained.
The paper says consumers will still complain directly to firms in the first instance if they feel they have been misadvised and will have ultimate recourse to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
But it adds: “In some cases, it may be appropriate for the firm to direct the complaint to the investment adviser’s professional body or to the FSA.
“We anticipate a short to medium term increase in such complaints as consumers become more aware of the standards that they can expect and the willingness of the professional bodies and the FSA to act.”
The FSA says it may increasingly use its powers to withdraw advisers’ approved persons status for serious infringements of professional standards.