View more on these topics

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.”


Higher rate cloud has a silver lining

Interest rates are rising throughout the world and will probably hit 6% here by the end of 2007. This is bad news for clients on fixed rates but will eventually help first-time buyers, says Frank Eve

Don’t bank on Brown to help buyers

It’s not long now before Gordon Brown makes the short move from 11 to 10 Downing Street. The burning question is whether this will have an impact on the housing market. I’m not optimistic because Brown has not done much for the market as chancellor.

Clarification on financial promotions

Some commentators believe the move towards principles-based regulation means that smaller firms will be able to issue non-compliant promotions and get away with it. The pages of Mortgage Strategy have hosted a healthy debate on this subject over the past few months. For example, in the May 21 issue, Steve Walker, managing director of Promise […]

Make search engines work for you

Websites are valuable marketing tools but only if search engines direct clients to their virtual doors. Keywords and other forms of web optimisation are the keys to success, says Sally Laker

The investment clock

While Trump blazes blond in the political foreground, it’s easy to overlook the economic background to the new political dimension of 2017. Political risk will be a feature of the year: the unpredictable and untested Trump administration has already created uncertainty, which is unlikely to diminish, especially if protectionist rhetoric starts to outweigh promises of […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up