Does retail financial services need a shake up in the approved persons regime?

This may go without saying but the move to abolish the approved persons regime has come about because of the behaviour of senior banking staff and the inability of the FSA/FCA to come down on them like the proverbial ton of bricks.

Not a bad initiative you might say, recommended by the Parliamentary banking commission, with a senior persons regime requiring a high degree of responsibility with lower level staff to be licensed. The chairman of the FCA John Griffith-Jones, reported in Money Marketing, says he sees no reason why the regime should not apply across the market.

But although the Money Debate hasn’t made up its mind, we do need to ask if the change is necessary, appropriate and proportional when it comes to advisers. In fact, do IFAs and others in this neck of the woods have a view whether the approved persons regime has worked. (It does seem most people make it through which may be a bad sign). But perhaps we also need to consider whether another shift in processes and practices will make things safer or be a distraction for regulator and regulated. Views welcome.

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