The disgraceful capitulation by the FSA in the face of pressure by the Government and the big businesses within the financial services industry shows that it is far from being an independent regulator motivated by protecting the man in the street.
Those who think that the current proposals will help any member of the general public, particularly the less well off, are seriously deluding themselves.
They will help the banks and some direct-sales operations. They should be shredded before any more time and money is wasted on them.
Only independent advisers can give true best advice all the time and all advisers should be independent.
We cannot predict the future nor guarantee success but can at least guide people through the maze.
Remuneration should be mainly as at present, with a choice of fees or standardised level playing field commission open to all.
This should suit everybody and proper self-regulation would follow. Apparently, this is too simple a concept for some to grasp.
The words commission and independent are not mutually exclusive. The FSA has all the powers it needs to punish malpractice and commission bias. It should concentrate on this rather than its current fixation with petty admin procedures. Much of the time, its actions appear to be an attempt to justify its own cost.
One certain outcome of the proposed regime would be to bring in much new work for the regulator.
Fife Independent Financial Advice,