Regulation may not be the upheaval many IFAs believe, with plans for fast-track sanctioning from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) now under consideration.
Speaking at The Mortgage Event in Glasgow last week, Charles Woods, from the high street firms division of the FSA, said granting levels of due credit to firms regulated by organisations such as the Mortgage Code Compliance Board was a potential option.
He said: ‘Fast-track transfer is a possibility. We will assess organisations’ criteria for granting regulation and look at how the rules compare to ours.’
Although he would not detail the timeframe within which the proposals would be delivered, he said: ‘There is still work to be done and an announcement will be made in due course.’
For firms not gaining regulated status, Woods called on the market to take responsibility for ensuring they did not continue to trade illegally. He said the FSA would also look to organisations like the Office of Fair Trading to help with the policing of the incoming regulations.
Woods said the FSA was not concerned non-regulated areas of the market would see a vast increase in numbers fuelled by firms unable to meet the new regulatory regime.
In such sectors, he said it was unlikely existing firms would tolerate sub-standard entrants, and suggested it would be difficult to operate only in the unregulated market areas while maintaining a viable offering to customers.
Woods urged intermediaries to contact the FSA with concerns before the period of consultation for CP146 closed on 11 November.