Letters – Chain mail: institute circular arms firms over red-tape

As ever I read ‘Taking Stock’ with interest, more so when I saw mention of my own institute (ICAEW Out of Touch, page 36, 25 October).

At the risk of getting in the way of a good story I write to set the record straight. The need to be regulated in relation to certain advice about private company shares is not new. The current legislation requires regulation of the provision of advice on shares, with no distinction between listed and private company shares.

The new Financial Services and Markets Act does the same. There will continue to be work related to private company shares which will not raise the need for a Designated Professional Body licence. An institute mailing in September went to all firms, including those currently unauthorised, and included material allowing firms to decide whether they need licensing under the DPB arrangements.

Indeed arguments from the ICAEW meant the Treasury accepted that regulation should generally continue to be left to our institute, except where mainstream investment business is involved. Consequently, regulations will remain much less onerous than present or future FSA regulations, and should not impose additional burdens on firms.

Michael Groom, president, ICAEW.

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