FSA appoints retail director

The Financial Services Au-thority has appointed Sheila Nicoll, former deputy chief ex-ecutive of the Investment Management Association, as direc- tor of its retail firms division.

Nicoll, who will take up the post in September, also previously worked as the head of international relations for the London Stock Exchange.

In her new role, she will report to Clive Briault, managing director of the FSA’s retail markets business unit.

The retail firms division’s responsibilities include supervising life insurance, general insurance and broker firms.

Nicoll succeeds Sarah Wilson, who is now leading the regulator’s insurance sector team and has been made director of its Treating Customers Fair-ly initiative.

The FSA also announced last week that its financial promotions rulebook will be cut in half in line with its move towards principles-based regulation.

The new regime will come into eff-ect on November 1 2007 and will focus on the outcomes the industry has to ac-hieve rather than prescriptive rules.

The FSA says this will give firms more flexibility to decide for themselves how best to meet its standards.

However, Nausicaa Delfas, head of TCF, financial promotions and unfair terms at the FSA, says: “Our ability to apply a principles-based approach will continue to be restricted in some areas.

“For example, with regard to mortgages, the Handbook will remain prescriptive in scope.”

Terry Pritchard, director of packagers at edeus, says: “Given the fact that the FSA hasn’t got the resources to properly police financial promotions, this was its only option.

“But some firms are still getting away with non-compliant advertising.”