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Start cutting the red tape at home

If political reports are to be believed, the Prime Minister is to push for a cut in EU red tape and suggest that some directives which may be a burden on business are delayed.

Many IFAs will no doubt find this interesting news, given what they are faced with in the UK from the regulator.

Perhaps somebody should tell the FSA. It is certainly arguable that the RDR and capital adequacy paper should be subject to the same sensible approach.

Now Aifa director general Chris Cummings has demanded that the FSA does an impact assessment and asks why one has not been done already.

We couldn’t agree more.

Money Marketing believes the capital adequacy requirements need to be phased in over a much longer period of time although we are still agnostic about how much cap ad should rise for non-Mifid firms. As the plans stand, they will not facilitate the orderly wind-up of advice businesses, they will simply increase pressure on businesses and make wind-ups more likely. This does not help consumers, it hurts them.

The exam timetable should be extended by at least by a year. There is no benefit to anyone if good but usually older advisers who would be capable of reaching the required level given time decide to quit the industry because they feel they are in a perfect storm.

We are also concerned about the absence of detail over the possible supervision of older advisers for a few more years and for on the job assessments through ISO 22222 which is not mentioned this time around.

As for the adviser fee, we support it in principle because we believe it is necessary to help restore advisers’ reputations against accusations of commission bias.

The latest FSA action on pension switches only serves to underline this but it might even take some of the heat out of the love-hate relationship between IFAs and some providers.

But, that aside, the FSA needs to see sense and to phase in its other requirements.

IFAs employ a lot of people and have the potential to create a lot of jobs in any recovery. They will not be able to do so if they are not in business any longer.

Mr Brown, after he has finished telling the EU not to burden business, should look around his own backyard and remind the FSA that in a recession, we should try to preserve as many jobs as possible.


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