Financial Conduct Authority  

Watchdog blasts failings in FCA supervision unit

According to the commissioner the FCA has since carried out regulatory work on the client's former adviser and his own firm, and a recommendation was made to the enforcement division as a result of the complaint team's investigation. 

Mr Townsend advised the FCA to consider what more it can do to "stamp out abuses and exploitation" of investors unfamiliar with financial services products. 

He added: "It should also consider what steps can be taken to mitigate the risk that unscrupulous firms and advisers can escape responsibility in the way that you have experienced, leaving inadequate protection for victims."

Mr Townsend agreed with the regulator in its decision to uphold certain parts of the client's complaint and to not uphold others, stating he was "satisfied the FCA conducted a thorough investigation" and provided a reasonable response to the complaint. 

In its formal response to the commissioner's decision, the FCA said it had already taken certain steps to improve its supervision work.

The FCA said: "Over the past couple of years, we have made significant changes to the way we supervise firms, have strengthened our rules and guidance around the provision of financial advice and carried out extensive supervisory work in relation to financial advisors, such as the work we announced on 19 June relating to the pension transfer sector, which continues." 

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