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Pocket money to be regulated by the FSA from April 1

I welcome the announcement that from April 1 pocket money given to kids will be regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

Children will not be allowed to self-certify their requirements due to the possibility of fraud.

In addition, the supply of sub-prime pocket money will not be tolerated if children have a history of reckless spending.

Under no circumstances can endowment policies be linked to pocket money. And of course, the Treating Children Fairly initiative must remain paramount.

Thankfully there will be no lifetime products, although chancellor Alistair Dulling is keen on the idea of 25-year pocket money deals. Grandparents can act as packagers but do not have to be regulated right now.

Parents will need to have complaints procedures in place and the Family Ombudsman Service will keep an eye on proceedings.

Ambulance-chasing firms are already rubbing their hands together and licking their lips in anticipation. Eurocrats have played their part and have now made it lawful to formally discuss pocket money even if offspring are under 18. Well done Brussels – it could not have been done without you.

It is estimated that the initial cost of the regulation will be in the region of £85m – a bargain – and parents will have to pay around £7,500 each to cover the figure.

Professional indemnity cover will be needed, together with consumer credit licences and registration under the Data Protection Act. Anti-money laundering procedures will be strictly enforced.

Robin Gordon-Wonker, spokesman for the Food Standards Agency (surely some mistake – Ed), speaking beneath one of a number of Picassos hung in his office, is unhappy with the proposals.

He says: “This is a half-baked idea in poor taste and I do not expect it to last until April 1 next year.”

He left shortly after making the comment as he was due to attend one hell of a no expense spared bash for a departing chief executive colleague.

FSA staff did not contribute to the bash themselves as it was left to regulated firms to pick up the tab – so no change there then.

It is rumoured that the chief executive, who will be leaving on a handsome pension also funded by regulated firms, is in for a knighthood or at least an MBE.

The announcement is expected to result in much merriment and dancing in the streets.

Warwick Tidy
Warwick Tidy Mortgage Services


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