The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has reiterated its commitment to ensuring firms choose what is best for them commercially and said it has no preference as to whether they become directly authorised or appointed representatives of a principal firm.
Speaking at a Council of Mortgage Lenders conference on regulation in Newbury, Sarah Wilson, director, high street firms division at the FSA, said: “The market – perhaps not unsurprisingly – is full of partial information and quite a number of myths about the implications of statutory regulation and direct authorisation. For example, it is not true that the FSA does not want to regulate sole traders. We have redesigned our systems to cope with thousands of small firms.”
Wilson also refuted the claim that small firms would have to buy the whole FSA Handbook for £1600. She said all authorised firms could receive the Handbook for free on CD ROM or by visiting http://www.fsa.gov.uk/.
The statement has received support from compliance specialist eg. It claims adjusting management techniques can create the capacity to deal with the extra work without incurring increased costs. Dave Poulton, account manager at eg, said: “It is possible to deliver the required level of compliance without having to shoulder long term costs. Indeed, we have been able to cut companies costs in their operational processes by at least 20% in just a matter of weeks.”