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FCA’s directory ‘over-eggs pudding’ and is not needed – UK Finance

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  • 17/10/2018
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FCA’s directory ‘over-eggs pudding’ and is not needed – UK Finance
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) should drop its plans to publish a directory of individuals, which would place heavy administrative burdens on financial firms, trade body UK Finance has said.

 

The proposed directory would allow the pubic to check the status and history of individuals working in financial services, with location searches to flag local advisers.

But UK Finance has said it doesn’t think the regulator shouldn’t publish the directory.

The trade body said the regulator is “over-egging the pudding” with the proposals “by requiring firms to publish information which will be of little use to the public”.

In a blog post, Simon Hills director of Prudential Policy at UK Finance, wrote: “The proposed directory contains significantly more information than we believe a retail customer would ever require in order to take an informed decision about advisor choice.

“It will impose a significant administrative burden on firms for little benefit.”

He said certified persons that would have to be included in the directory would vary greatly depending on a firm’s approach.

 

Proposals need to be rethought

Hills said UK Finance does not think the FCA should publish the directory, but added if the regulator does, it should overhaul its approach.

He wrote: “In our view the proposals should be rethought to narrow the range of individuals listed in the directory, to ensure it is clear about what permissions a firm has and identify who at a firm is authorised to deal with customers.”

Hills said UK Finance supported a directory to help consumers avoid scams and verify financial advice.

UK Finance and trade body Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) have jointly responded to the regulator’s consultation on the directory.

Earlier this month, Robert Sinclair, chief executive of AMI, also criticised the directory for overlapping with a tool already provided by the Money Advice Service (MAS).

He said: “We are concerned that the FCA appears to be working in siloes both internally and distinct from organisations it’s supposed to be collaborating with.

“The memorandum of understanding between MAS and the FCA commits to ‘minimise inconsistency and duplication and to promote coordination’ by ‘working together on information aimed at consumers’.

“The FCA should have also consulted more widely before adding this function to the current register.”

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