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What is FSA’s problem with accreditation?

A requirement of the FSA is for organisations to put in place processes to monitor transactions for potential money-laundering activity, with part of this require-ment enforcing that any suspicious transactions must be reported.

There are potentially many simple, low-cost software solutions on the market but they are consistently being over-looked as the decision-makers feel that buying them would be viewed as “not taking the matter seriously”. Consequently, the market is dominated by over-elaborate and expensive software products.

The FSA should have in place a scheme for accrediting software to help those responsible for implementing money-laundering reporting software make an informed decision.

Yet, the FSA would argue that it is not its place to be recommending software and that setting up such a scheme would be unreasonable as the products accredited first would gain an unfair market advantage.

The IT faculty of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales runs a software accreditation scheme which allows vendors to display the ICAEW logo on their accredited software.

Accreditation, which is performed by an indep-endent expert, with the costs borne by the vendor, merely guarantees that the software “does what it says on the box” and is not an indication of endorsement by the ICAEW.

This gives buyers the comfort of knowing that the vendor is not a Mickey Mouse set-up.

Certainly, if the FSA set up such a scheme with a proviso that no accred-itations would be made public within the first year, the marketplace would remain level but it would at least be opened up to cost-effective solutions.

It therefore, begs the question of what exactly is the FSA’s problem with accreditation. Is it simply a case of ignorance or does someone have a vested interest in keeping the costs high?

Alan Livesey




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