View more on these topics

Sants quits the conflict zone

Advisers say that FSA chief executive Hector Sants is leaving a legacy of failing to crack down on bank advice and not understanding the needs of small IFAs.

Sants: Three-year term
Sants: Three-year term

Sants quit the regulator this week and will leave the FSA in the summer after three years as chief executive. He says he always intended to stay in the role only for a three-year term.

The FSA says it has yet to decide whether the process to replace Sants will begin before the general election. The Conservatives are committed to scrapping the FSA, passing prudential regulation to the Bank of England and setting up a Consumer Protection Agency.

Informed Choice chief executive Nick Bamford says Sants has presided over open conflict between the regulator and small IFAs.

He says: “I think the legacy he leaves is disappointment in the performance of the regulator and outright conflict in some sectors, with a feeling among small IFAs, whether proven or unproven, that the regulator does not like small firms and would like to see the back of them. I do not think he is leaving too many positives behind.”

Affluent Financial Planning managing director Carl Melvin says Sants was wrong to take an “adversarial approach” to the IFA sector.

He says: “The RDR will work better if we collaborate. I do not think his idea of taking a big stick and beating us over the head was very clever.

Now he is jumping ship two years before the RDR comes in. Why didn’t he see the project through? I can only suspect that he realises there are going to be some serious issues com- ing on the back of the RDR.”

Alan Steel Asset Management chairman Alan Steel says: “The reality is if you talk to any IFA who is willing to tell you the truth, you will find all of them have still got stories of customers going into a bank or building society and getting stitched up. It still happens.

“The IFAs are working with one hand behind our backs and, meanwhile, banks and building societies with direct-sales teams are getting away with murder.”


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There are 9 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Incompetent Regulators 11th February 2010 at 9:32 am

    This is why the regulator should have asked IFAs on how to succeed as we have the perfect model for distribution which the FSA want to break. Now the FSA in on the back foot and may be broken for good. Good riddens to very bad rubbish and all because they don’t listen.

  2. Amen to the first comment. I would also like to state that not only does the FSA & Government not listen. I firmly believe they dont understand the IFA fraternity at all, nor do they understand or appear to care about the majority of consumers and how they want to recieve their ongoing financial advice. NEST is a great example of this. Lets reinvent the wheel when we already have a great framework in place!

  3. well I feel sorry for the man. It must be terrible to be so openly vilified and yet not have the faintest idea why – The Neville Chamberlain of the financial world ? Heart in the right place but not understanding the questions let alone having any practical answers as far as Financial Advisers are concerned.

  4. In private many regulators will say:

    “We got it wrong”, how hard is it to say so in public? Just blame it on the “Kenmir effect”.

    “We are willing to listen”, so are we and you know it.

    Let’s get on with it then, stop the Tory reshuffling and start with a clean slate, I’ll bring the Welsh slate from Blaenau Ffestinog, it won’t be a big one!

  5. Incompetent Regulators Awards Team 11th February 2010 at 10:58 am

    Sants, McArthy, Tiner, Kenmir, Crash Gordon, Jack Straw Man, and whole of Labout clan with followers etc etc etc…

    They all have cloth ears, roll on elections but the Tories must listen or to their peril BNP will get more votes.

    Hope Cameron, Osborne and Hoban are listening to this!

  6. Evan is right, the Kenmir pollution still infects the atmosphere. Time for a regulatory Rentokil.

  7. Is there a similarity between HS and our esteemed former leader Tony Blair (tic)??

    HS – presided over a botched review of Financial Services, which only appeared to serve a higher master (ie the Banks)
    TB – presided over a botched invasion of Iraq, appearing to serve only a higher master (ie the US/Big-Oil)

    Both didn’t/were unwilling to listen to people on the ‘ground floor’

    Both bailed out well before the **** hit the fan/s

    Have moved (or will move) onto higher paid jobs – based on past reputation, rather than ability/performance

    Both are in denial over the disappointing ‘legacies’ they left

    Most people who are non-sycophants/blinded-by-absurd/unjustified-loyalty find them ‘loathsome’ for what they’ve left behind

    Both have senior colleagues ’embroiled’ in expenses ‘scandals’

    Labour wants the masses controlled by the State – the FSA wants financial servies controlled by … … the Banks

    Oooooooh … has anyone seen them playing guitar together??

    🙂 (tic)

  8. In private many regulators will say:

    “We got it wrong”, how hard is it to say so in public? Just blame it on the “Kenmir effect”.

    “We are willing to listen”, so are we and you know it.

    Let’s get on with it then, stop the Tory reshuffling and start with a clean slate, I’ll bring the Welsh slate from Blaenau Ffestinog, it won’t be a big one!

  9. Not only did hs fail to understand ifas, he failed to treat them with even a basic form of human decency. Having been led from the top the rest of the fsa treat advisers in the same manner.
    Whilst the financial world was falling down, the fsa were running up and down the country, interrogating advisers as to whether or not they were treating their customers fairly.Nero fiddled while Rome burned is a very good analogy.
    Whoever takes his place would do well to start out by changing the fact that being treated fairly is something advisers have not enjoyed since the fsa acquired their unlimited state police type power.
    Advisers do not want to fear the fsa, they want to respect a regulator who sets out fair clear and not misleading mumbo jumbo.
    In this modern day world where no one, not even a rat, must have their rights abused, the fsa for too long have treated advisers as sub human and the political world has stood by and allowed it to happen.This will not always be so as these things do have an uncanny knack of coming out into the open sooner or later.One day answers may have to be given as to why advisers were treated very differently to every other being.
    If the tories want things to improve in the financial sector they too would do well to take note.

Leave a comment


Why register with Money Marketing ?

Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

Money Marketing Events
Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

Research and insight
Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

Have your say
Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

Register now

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm