Regulator should shoulder costs of collapsed firms – Lord Deben

The chairman of the Association of Professional Financial Advisers was speaking last week at its gala dinner. He said the FCA needed to “recognise its responsibility” when it regulated firms and then passed on the cost of a firm’s collapse to the industry, as happened following the collapse of Keydata and Arch Cru.

Lord Deben added that arguments about independent versus restricted advisory definitions “were not helping the industry”, while the FCA should also do more to prevent those guilty of wrongdoing from re-entering the profession.

However, he also welcomed the more conciliatory approach of the new regulatory regime. He said: “The tone that the FCA has adopted so far is very promising.”

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Keynote speaker Andrew Tyrie MP, chairman of the Treasury select committee, added that the industry “needed regulation” but warned it would not thrive with excessive regulation.

He said the FSA had been guilty of “far too much box-ticking and mindless data collection” in the past. He cited the discredited FSA approved persons regime that had cleared the appointment of Paul Flowers as a non-executive director of the Co-operative Bank and called for its successor to “have more intelligent reporting requirements”.

He also urged the industry to keep the select committee informed of issues under investigation. He said: “It’s up to you because you have to tell us what’s going on. Find a way of getting information to us because that’s what our job should and will be.”

Legacy of RDR
Mr Tyrie said that the select committee would not probe the effects of RDR until at least 2015 in order to allow for the full effects of the changes to be understood. He said the committee would wait to see the results of the FCA’s set of thematic reviews and regular reports in the first instance, but accepted that there had been a “considerable risk” of consumer detriment as a result of RDR and the fall in adviser numbers.