Firms told to check FSA registration.

Accountancy firms are being urged to check whether they need to register with the Financial Services Authority before they can advise clients on investment business, writes Philip Smith.

The warning came as the FSA prepared to take over all regulatory powers in the run-up to the so-called ‘N2’ deadline on 1 December.

Both the FSA and the ICAEW have written to firms reminding them of the need to take action, but ACCA has warned it is a major commercial decision for many of its members.

Firms previously registered with their institute can opt in to the FSA’s regime without making a full application, but must do so before 31 October.

Others who carry out so-called ‘non-mainstream’ investment work will be monitored by designated professional bodies, including the ICAEW, ICAS and ACCA.

Firms could fall foul of the law if they fail to take the necessary action to remain authorised. But an ACCA spokesperson said that for many firms the costs of registering could outweigh the additional fees for giving investment advice.

– Former PwC partner takes FSA role Public+Services/1125169.

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