In Money Marketing’s recent article on the FSA’s virtually total disregard for the statutory code of practice for regulators, a spokes-person for the FSA is quoted as saying: “We have consulted widely on the retail distribution review and received considerable input from firms of all sizes, including a large number of small firms. We have taken their views on board.”
Apart from the fact that most people who have responded to this claim have done so with derision, I have to say that I for one am unaware of any firm or individual who claims to have been part of the FSA’s “wide” consultation. Nor does anyone to whom I have spoken even know of any such persons or parties. Just who are these consultees?
Were any of the following asked by the FSA for their input – Alan Lakey, Simon Mansell, Neil Liversidge, Aifa, the heads of any of the networks, any of the product providers or any consumer groups? Or was the consul-tation exercise limited just to firms or individuals who already operate in the HNW corner of the market on a fee-only basis, who seem to regard studying for and sitting exams as a cherishable hobby and who seem to think that everybody else should do likewise?
The FSA claims on its website to be “an open and transparent regulator”. If this is the case, then it should publish a list of all the firms and individuals consulted on the RDR and also publish just what their “considerable input” has been so that everyone can see and consider and indeed debate just who said what.
The FSA website also claims that all new regulatory initiatives are subject to a prior cost-benefit analysis. As I write, a resp-onse is awaited to a freedom of information request for directions on the FSA’s web-site to the results of this costbenefit analysis. That too will be interesting to read.