XBattle lines drawn as professionals fight it out for FSA monitoring role

FSA group manager for the Recognised Professional Body division Roger Purcell confirmed that he had received eight bids in total for the eight different sets of firms who will need to be monitored under the FSA’s new powers to act as watchdog for professional firms offering investment advice as a core business.However, several bids from accountancy institutes, law society and Big Five firm PricewaterhouseCoopers are offers to act as monitor for most if not all of the affected firms.ACCA has put in a bid to monitor their own members as well as those who are part of the ICAEW.The Joint Monitoring Unit of the ICAEW has also bid to monitor all of the accountancy firms and those who are part of the Institute of Actuaries.However, in a separate bid, PricewaterhouseCoopers has offered to monitor all of the professional firms which would include those members of the Law Society and actuaries, while ACCA and PwC has also put in a joint bid to monitor all firms.Seperately, actuarial firm Bacon & Woodrow and bid for all of the firms except those of the Institute of Actuaries while IFA Bankhall Investment Management has also bid to monitor the English ICA, the Scots ICA, ACCA and the English and Scottish Law Societies.The Law Society of England and Wales, not be be outdone, has also offered to monitor all of the firms while the Scottish Law Society has put in a bid to do their own members.Successful bodies will be notified within weeks to return to the FSA to answer further questions about their bids and it is hoped that a final announcement will be made by 1 April.But the decision will be made difficult by the fact that many of the bids could lead to major conflicts of interest.Purcell said: ‘We are aware that a number of the bids have conflicts of interest and we have asked them how they would deal with that.’

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