RegulationMay 15 2013

Industry partly at fault for box-ticking approach: FCA

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ByNick Reeve

Advisers were partly at fault for the emergence of a culture of “box-ticking compliance”, according to the Financial Conduct Authority’s Clive Adamson.

Speaking at Morningstar’s Investment Conference this morning (May 15), Mr Adamson, director of supervision, said both previous regulator the FSA and the advice industry had been guilty of believing complying with rules was enough to avoid misselling or consumer detriment.

“The industry has asked for more rules and guidance [in the past] which has meant both the regulator and firms have had a culture of ‘tick box compliance’,” Mr Adamson said.

“It is partly our fault, and partly the fault of firms saying that if they comply with the rules then we are done.”

He also emphasised that the FCA would be putting more emphasis on the assessment of company business models and the culture of firms in order to move away from “compliance with a narrow set of rules”.

Mr Adamson said: “Whether a firm is treating customers properly is determined not by strong or weak controls, but by the business model and the culture.

“We want firms to do the right thing for clients - it is about more than just compliance with a narrow set of rules.”