Regulation  

FCA told cost of updating register no excuse for errors

FCA told cost of updating register no excuse for errors

A lawyer has said the Financial Conduct Authority’s claim it would be too expensive to update the Financial Services Register is no defence.

Simon Morris, a partner at CMS Cameron McKenna, said the regulator had an obligation to make sure the register was accurate.

He was speaking after the FCA has been unable to address an adviser’s complaint about an inaccurate register entry because doing so could cost up to £100,000.

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But Mr Morris said the FCA would not accept cost as an excuse if an adviser submitted inaccurate information.

He said: “What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

“The fact it would cost them £100,000 to correct it is not a good answer. In my opinion if the register is factually incorrect I believe the FCA would be under a duty to correct that.

“It is exercising a public law duty in maintaining the register.”

The Financial Services Register comes under the jurisdiction of the Financial Services & Markets Act 2000, among others.

Following a complaint to the Complaints Commissioner, the FCA committed to a review of the way its register is designed to make it more flexible.

The complaint was prompted by an adviser’s inaccurate entry in the register which suggested he was director of a firm which had been publicly censured, when he was not.

In a letter from the Complaints Commissioner to the adviser, it is revealed that the FCA’s IT department explored whether changes to the register could be achieved and found a full solution would cost between £50,000 and £100,000 to implement across all entries affected by this issue.

damian.fantato@ft.com