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Regulatory review will probe role in countering fraud

The regulator is launching a thematic review into banks’ procedures for finding and containing investment fraud.

At the FSA financial crime conference last week, acting director for enforcement Tracey McDermott said the FSA will examine how banks can prevent fraudulent operations such as Ponzi schemes and boiler room fraud.

He said the review will probe the role of the banks in countering these unauthorised businesses, which depend on victims making payments from, and sometimes to, UK bank accounts.

She said such schemes may have been prompted by low inv-estment returns offered by mainstream financial institutions.

The regulator has shut down three big pyramid schemes over the last 12 months and McDermott claimed public tip-offs were invaluable in this work.

She said the FSA continues to receive thousands of complaints about boiler room schemes each year but only a fifth have fallen victim to the schemes.

She attributes this to the FSA’s public awareness campaigns and close co-operation with law-enforcement agencies.

The FSA is also launching a review into corruption and bribery and held a panel session discussing the new Bribery Act, with representatives from the Serious Fraud Office and Ministry of Justice.

Concept Financial Planning managing director Paul Rich– ardson says: “It is a bit like locking the door once the horse has bolted. It is probably a good thing the FSA is doing this but the banks should have the systems in place to deal with these problems without this kind of review.”


IMA appoints Morningstar UK to monitor fund sectors

Morningstar UK has been appointed by the IMA to monitor funds classified to the sectors. Morningstar UK replaces Lipper as the appointed IMA sector monitoring company, effective from October 1.  Morningstar UK will provide an analysis of the portfolio holdings of each fund in the IMA sectors to ensure each fund meets the parameters of […]


HSBC to cull 460 advisers due to RDR

HSBC Holdings is to cut 700 jobs in its UK retail banking arm, including 460 financial planning managers across the UK. The bank says it is making the changes due to a predicted drop in the need for its advice service due to the retail distribution review. HSBC says it will still have around 1500 […]

Royal London completes Royal Liver takeover

Royal London has completed its takeover of Royal Liver. The deal means the Royal Liver, the 161-year-old Liverpool-based insurer, will have its £3bn of assets swallowed up by its larger rival. Royal Liver’s members approved the proposed takeover by Royal London in May this year. Royal Liver’s 280 staff will also transfer to Royal London, […]

FSA finds BTL being exploited

The FSA says some intermediaries are using buy-to-let and let-to-buy mortgages for self-certification customers who find it difficult to obtain a residential mortgage. In its latest mortgage lenders round-up, published last week, the FSA said lenders should have controls in place to ensure intermediaries cannot exploit their systems. Let-to-buy mortgages help a borrower move to […]

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David Cameron appoints former adviser to Tony Blair as new pensions minister

Following a cabinet reshuffle in light of last week’s general election, David Cameron has announced that Ros Altmann will be replacing Steve Webb as pensions minister. As the industry works with one of the largest reforms to the sector in almost a century, the former adviser to Tony Blair has been tasked with ensuring that the pensions revolution does not stray off track.


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