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This week in Regulation

Money Marketing this week revealed a high court victory over the Financial Ombudsman Service by IFA firm Garrison Investment Analysis which rakes up arguments over the way redress is calculated.

The Royal Courts of Justice overturned a FOS award for the alleged missale of NDF products saying its standard formula of calculating redress was ‘irrational’ for such high risk investors.

Regulation consultant Adam Samuel says this judgement should make the FOS consider whether it can continue to use its ‘short-hand’ method of calculating what the customer should be advised to do.

The FSA continued its tidying-up exercise of the approved persons regime by proposing the merger of customer functions in response to last year’s consultation.

The regulator says the cutting back of paperwork will save firms 1m a year – a point its press office helpfully highlighted again in a separate email to journalists to ensure good coverage to balance against the usual snipes of an overbearing leviathan.

Money Marketing would never dream of being anything other than balanced in its coverage of the regulator and is happy to point out the impressive example of deregulatory work currently being conducted at Canary Wharf.

The consultation paper also sets out proposed Mifid influenced changes to the approved persons regime – which the FSA says will just be a case of superseding current rules.

The regulator also published a paper on implementing Mifid Client Categorisation requirements in a sign that Mifid junkies can look forward to an increase in activity ahead of the consultation paper on refining COB regulation scheduled for this October.

In the political arena the Treasury was quick to slap down Blair ‘outrider’ Stephen Byer’s call for an end to inheritance tax as well as the Tory proposal to cut or scrap stamp duty on shares.

The Chancellor and his right hand man Ed Balls used the radio and national newspapers to ridicule what they see as short-term uncosted points scoring.

But with Byers and fellow leading Blairite Alan Milburn both rumoured to be preparing speeches in the next couple of weeks designed to tread on the toes of the Chancellor’s 2007 comprehensive spending review more fireworks can be expected.

Balls also needs to worry about where he will be after the next election with no sign that Labour backbenchers are prepared to make way for him when his Yorkshire constituency disappears in boundary changes next time around.

The Tories showed they are listening to the IFA community this week with John Redwood- in charge of the party’s Economic Competitiveness Group- sampling the delightful coffee to be had at Money Marketing’s offices and listening to the concerns of the IFA Defence Union.

He said the Tories were looking at radical ways to remove some of the regulatory burden placed on IFAs by the FSA and was looking for specific barriers that could be lifted.

Redwood said the Tory Economic Competitiveness Group had been deluged by grievances from advisers about the FSA but these needed to be better communicated if the Party is to produce polices that can help advisers by next July’s deadline.

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