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Solicitors face double burden

Solicitors who give financial advice are worried they will face the burden

of two sets of regulation when the Financial Services and Markets Bill

takes effect.

They are currently regulated solely by the Law Society but responsibility

for financial business will pass to the FSA this year.

The concerns were voiced at the Solicitors for Independent Financial

Advice annual conference last week.

Sifa managing director Ian Muirhead has moved to allay members&#39 fears by

saying the principles of the new regulation are the same as under the old

regime. They will cover terms of business, fact-finds, confirmation of

business and reasons-why letters.

He says: “Members may be concerned that the majority will pay for the sins

of the few but the rules are designed to make everyone better

practitioners. The key features of the rules are the same as before. They

have just been polished up a bit. The regulator consulted long and hard

before setting them down. They are actually more flexible.”

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