Regulator plans to get tough with small businesses

The Financial Services Authority is to step up its supervision of small businesses with more intensive action taken against individual firms.

In a speech at the City And Financial Intensive Supervision conference last week, Jon Pain, managing director of supervision at the FSA, says small firms will be supervised through roadshows, visits, workshops and more intensive interventions.

He says the recent banning of 80 brokers for fraud with total fines of more than £1m represents one such intervention. Large firms face more mystery shopping exercises and consumer research by the FSA.

Pain adds: “This approach is not just a battle-hungry FSA looking for confrontation for its own sake. Our message to firms is clear – where necessary we will intervene and we will not be pressurised to back off.

“Firms will be well advised to engage with us in a proactive manner rather than believe they can bull-doze us at the last minute.”