FSA to reform investigation process

The Financial Services Authority has unveiled plans to make its
investigations fairer and more transparent, but it is likely they will cost more
and take longer.

The FSA held an internal review after Legal & General successfully
launched an appeal and overturned a ruling earlier this year over its handling
of endowment mortgages.

As a result, the city’s regulator has introduced 44 reforms designed to
address its shortcomings and ensure that accused companies and individuals
obtain a fairer hearing.

However, it is likely that investigation and punishment of city rule-breakers
will take longer and cost more in contested cases. Analysts have estimated that
cases before the FSA’s Regulatory Decisions committee could take three to six
months longer as a result of the drive for more objectivity.

Sir Callum McCarthy, chairman of the FSA, came close to admitting the
authority had failings when he said at the announcement of the plans: ‘this
report demonstrates the FSA’s determination to respond carefully and fully to
well-founded criticisms.’

For more details on the review, go to:

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