Approved persons proposal is a clear case of FSA overkill

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries’ recent warning that the regulator is adopting a retrospective authorisation process for approved persons and this could result in brokers not gaining authorisation for minor credit blips shows once again that the FSA likes to use a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

Little of what it does is proportional to the risk involved, nor does it make any realistic consideration of cost. A full-blown approval process is not needed to keep track of advisers – a simple list would do the trick.

An addendum to the FSA’s register could list advisers’ details, qualifications and where they work. If they move, firms would be responsible for notifying the FSA, subject to being fined if they don’t.

The cost in both time and money for firms to go through a full authorisation process as a controlling function for mortgage and general insurance sales is a clear case of overkill.

Why doesn’t the regulator at least try this method first? If it is not successful then the full regime could be introduced later – by which time the FSA will hopefully have been replaced.