Sunday, January 31, 2010

Julian Knight: The FSA fiddles while debt-laden souls burn - Spend & Save , Money - The Independent

Julian Knight: The FSA fiddles while debt-laden souls burn - Spend & Save , Money - The Independent: "All in all, the FSA has been given a few pats on the back when it should be told to do more and get a move on."

Regulation is bust....

Politics is bust, UKPLC is bust. What have the regulators done for us? Would we have been better off without them?

Hank Paulson blames FSA for Lehman failure - Telegraph

Hank Paulson blames FSA for Lehman failure - Telegraph: "The former US Treasury Secretary's book reveals how he blames the FSA for not helping the stricken bank"

I blame the FSA for thousands of things, do the regulators care?

"It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong."

Thomas Sowell

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hank Paulson blames FSA for Lehman failure - Telegraph

Hank Paulson blames FSA for Lehman failure - Telegraph: "'I don't wake up mornings wishing that I were still Treasury Secretary,' he opines in the leaked book extracts. 'For one thing, I am finally getting a good night's sleep again.'
And that's more than could be said about that fateful week in September 2008"

And that's more than can be said about the rest of us who don't have his gold-plated retirement income and the millions of people as yet unborn who will pay the price for the 'collective intellectual failure', as will their children and granchildren if they can afford to have any....

Thursday, January 28, 2010

FTAdviser.com - Law firm criticises FSA paper on regulating individuals

FTAdviser.com - Law firm criticises FSA paper on regulating individuals: "The Financial Services Authority's (FSA) plan to capture more individuals from parent companies who exert significant influence upon a UK regulated firm is 'deeply flawed' according to City law firm CMS Cameron McKenna."
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Well, Mr Morris would say that wouldn't he?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

There is fundamental uncertainty in climate change, science tsar says - Times Online

There is fundamental uncertainty in climate change, science tsar says - Times Online: "In response to one request for data Professor Jones wrote: “We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”"



Almost as bad as the Financial Services Authority, this regulator spots a banking iceberg which has already holed SS UK yet continues to base all its regulations on what happened in a narrow time frame, take mortgage regulation for instance.

Monday, January 25, 2010

FTAdviser.com - Mortgage fraud cost £77m in 2009

FTAdviser.com - Mortgage fraud cost £77m in 2009: "Hitesh Patel, partner at KPMG Forensic, said: 'Britain appears to have a rising fraud problem, as is evident by looking at the steady increase through the last 10 years."
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You can blame 'consumerism' for most of it, claimants can tell a pack of lies to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) with impunity and not have to pay a penny.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

FT.com / UK / Business - FSA warns firms on protection of client assets

FT.com / UK / Business - FSA warns firms on protection of client assets: "Steven White, head of compliance and training at the British Insurance Brokers Association, said: “It is important to understand that a lot of the money the insurance brokers are handling is not actually client money.
“When they are collecting premiums, for example, they usually are acting as an agent of the insurer, which means that the premium is the insurer’s as soon as it is collected and there is no risk to the customer.”"
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Who's money is it? That is question we asked, no response.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

FTAdviser.com - Make Arch Cru stance known, Maguire tells FSA

FTAdviser.com - Make Arch Cru stance known, Maguire tells FSA: "Mr Maguire said: 'We have got to have answers now on where they stand on this. They are going after IFAs, but this is a management problem.'"
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Although I don't know any IFAs who placed their client monies in Arch Cru I agree that if the FSA is conducting a thematic review of IFA new business that the regulator must first make clear its position on who it believes is to blame for the failure and who will be held responsible for any losses, finally an independent legal opinion should support any further action taken by the regulator.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Towry Law accused of losing independence - Times Online

Towry Law accused of losing independence - Times Online: "Andrew Fisher, the chief executive of Towry Law, denies that there is anything wrong with the practice, arguing that the discretionary management approach offers benefits to clients."
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Fees or commission?

Can't see the difference here, in fact I would contend that this sort of service poses a bigger threat to client monies than a thousand small firms ever could.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

FTAdviser.com - FSA insists restrictions on product advice is not unusual

FTAdviser.com - FSA insists restrictions on product advice is not unusual: "'This does appear from time to time, as appropriate and when they do there is an official record.'"
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Might be a safer bet than assuming qualifications will make the market safer?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

FTAdviser.com - Your heart and soul

FTAdviser.com - Your heart and soul: "The FSA's recent paper on Delivering the Retail Distribution Review, is an important statement and a pleasant surprise. It is clear, concise (if you ignore the annexes) and coherent"
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The FSA couldn't have paid for a better pat on the back, assuming it didn't recompense David Jackman in any shape or form.

FTAdviser.com - Consumer champion award presented to McFall

FTAdviser.com - Consumer champion award presented to McFall
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FSA employs two former Which? people and McFall gets this 'gong', don't you just love networking?

FSA freezes pay for majority of staff | News | Money Marketing

FSA freezes pay for majority of staff | News | Money Marketing
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If the regulator and its rulebook were functioning properly there would be no need for so many staff, no need for the FOS either.

We might see fewer 'crises' as well?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Conservatives Said to Consider Making FSA a Temporary BOE Unit - BusinessWeek

Conservatives Said to Consider Making FSA a Temporary BOE Unit - BusinessWeek

Mark Hoban, the Conservative spokesman for financial services, said in October that the regulatory system may be overhauled within the first year of a Conservative government. The party set up an advisory group on implementing the overhaul.
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The same people who set it all up last time, and the time before?

Will they never learn?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

FT.com / US / Economy & Fed - US regulators scrutinise banks’ top personnel

FT.com / US / Economy & Fed - US regulators scrutinise banks’ top personnel: "US practice still stops well short of the formal appointments process in the UK, where the Financial Services Authority interviews and must approve people with “significant influence”, such as directors and the top jobs at all regulated financial services companies. The FSA warned the companies last year that it expected to be far more involved in the selection process and would often insist on interviewing would-be appointments."
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Following the appointment of two former Which? personnel to senior positions at the FSA do you think it would be wise to have a 'formal appointments process' at the regulator?

We need regulatory balance, I see none.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Major blow for claims management companies in landmark court case - Debt Management Today

Major blow for claims management companies in landmark court case - Debt Management Today: "According to reports, the judge wanted some proof, rather than just assertion, that there was either no signed agreement or an improperly executed one. The judgment says a S78 (Section 78 of the Consumer Credit Act) copy need not be a copy of the signed agreement showing the customer's and the bank's signatures and that in the absence of evidence to the contrary the court would accept that if standard practice complied with the Act then the disputed agreements also did.

It was also noted that many of the cases were “speculative” in nature and an abuse of process and that, in those circumstances, the court could award costs against the plaintiff in future."
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Replace 'credit agreement' with 'mortgage endowment', what is the difference?

FTAdviser.com - FSA starts criminal proceedings for misleading statements

FTAdviser.com - FSA starts criminal proceedings for misleading statements: "The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has commenced criminal proceedings against four former directors of iSOFT Group Plc for the offence of conspiracy to make misleading statements."


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Who will be next?

Banks?

Regulators?

Ministers?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

FSA appoints Julian Edwards as consumer adviser | News | Money Marketing

FSA appoints Julian Edwards as consumer adviser | News | Money Marketing: "FSA’s chief executive Hector Sants says: “I am delighted to announce Julian’s appointment today as a senior advisor to the FSA. He has considerable experience to bring to bear on the key issues that we face in protecting consumers.

“Through intensive and intrusive regulation we are focusing our skills and insight into not just taking action when we find failures, but proactively identifying and addressing issues that have the potential to harm consumers. This is a step change in approach and Julian will have an invaluable role in ensuring that we have the ability to achieve this.”"


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We shall see what we shall see!

Take a peek at http://www.notwhich.co.uk

In Which? surveys of mortgage endowments the 'Best Buys' included Equitable Life!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

The solutions are simple..

...why are the problems seen to be so complex?

FSA enlists external experts to probe banks | News | Money Marketing

FSA enlists external experts to probe banks | News | Money Marketing: "The Financial Times reports that the FSA has engaged firms such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, BDO Stoy Hayward and Ernst & Young to help its supervisory review."


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Will they be probing with the same old white sticks?

A gravy train with the blind leading the blind while being paid £millions...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

FTAdviser.com - FSA staff "woefully" ignorant, says Ukip MEP

FTAdviser.com - FSA staff "woefully" ignorant, says Ukip MEP: "Mr Bloom said financial advice was about relationships - as was family medicine 30 or 40 years ago before things went downhill with group practices servicing ever increasing numbers.
He said consumers did not want to see a sprog from a bank who had qualifications up to his ears but actually knew nothing.
The bank adviser is never around after a few years and the standard of advice is usually mediocre at best, Mr Bloom said, and it was for this reason that retail banks had failed to wrestle financial advice away from the IFA sector."


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Time for IFAs to put themselves forward as being part of the solution rather than being perceived as part of the problem?

FT.com / Companies / Banks - External experts help FSA probe banks

FT.com / Companies / Banks - External experts help FSA probe banks: "The FSA often uses outside experts to prepare “external skilled persons reports”, as they are known, into financial services companies."


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Please define "skilled person". If it is a banker please pass go.

Bank probe reveals communication breakdowns - Herald Scotland | News | Home News

Bank probe reveals communication breakdowns - Herald Scotland | News | Home News: "Although the investigation, which also examined Bradford & Bingley, has not found any illegal activity, communications failures left board members unaware of the risks being run by executives before the crisis struck, the newspaper said.
A forthcoming FSA report is also expected to question public statements made by the banks before the series of Government bailouts."


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A "collective intellectual failure" all round then?

All the cerebral mind muscles in the world failed to see something many people had predicted months before the muck hit the fan and John Tiner slipped out the side door?

Wikipedia defines "intellectual" as :

‘Intellectual’ can denote three types of persons:

* man or woman involved in, and with, abstract, erudite ideas and theories.
* person whose profession (science, medicine, law, literature) solely involves the production and dissemination of ideas.[1]
* person of notable cultural and artistic expertise whose knowledge grants him or her intellectual authority in public discourse.



Assuming all these people had a degree in something, even an 'ology', can we deduce that a brain which can pass all the qualifications in the world doesn't compare to an enquiring mind?