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‘Spiralling costs threaten UK competitiveness’

A member of the FSA practitioner panel is warning that increased regulatory costs could have a drastic effect on the UK’s international competitiveness.

Pan-European IFA AWD chief executive Douglas Gardner says the sector needs to be made aware of the spiralling cost of regulation.

He is urging the FSA to give greater priority to international issues and re-evaluate its “over-zealous implementation of EU directives”.

Gardner is particularly critical of the way that mortgage regulation has been introduced and says a phased approach could have saved the industry millions of pounds. He slams the cost-benefit analysis carried out by the regulator as wildly inaccurate. He believes increased compliance and transparency could see the demise of hundreds of smaller independent firms.

Thomson’s IFA was rebranded under its parent’s name AWD last year. The brand operates in 16 countries across Europe and has 24 offices in the UK and 300 advisers.

Gardner says: “Mortgage regulation is not creating additional value for the customer. I cannot see that it is right that a cost-benefit analysis that has been misguided can go ahead. It is not about more or less regulation. To me, the point has to be, is regulation doing what it should be doing – which is ultimately making sure the consumer is in a protective environment.”

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