To help firms understand the future market and its implications, and to make the FSA easier to do business with, the watchdog is holding its first dedicated conference for retail intermediaries in Birmingham on 24 February 2005 to look at the issues facing
David Kenmir, FSA Sector Leader for Retail Intermediaries, said:
"With widespread change approaching, and a growing consumer need for high quality and affordable financial advice, the retail intermediaries channel must take advantage of the coming opportunities.
"Policy changes such as depolarisation and basic advice will have a major effect on the market and IFAs must make sure that they get their business models right, or they will suffer.
"This conference gives firms the opportunity to explore, with us, some of the key challenges affecting them in the coming year and to look at how we can work together to help firms adapt to the changes."
Speakers at the conference include Paul Lewis, BBC; Peter Hales, Norwich Union and Fay Goddard, Association of Independent Financial Advisers.
Further recent initiatives from the FSA for retail intermediaries include a new sector newsletter (http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pubs/other/ri_newsletter1.pdf) aimed at giving advice and guidance on issues that impact directly on firms and a 'work shadowing' programme on which FSA staff spend time at an advisory firm gaining a practical insight into the day to day life of an adviser.
Details of the Retail Intermediaries Sector Conference can be found at http://www.fsa.gov.uk/industry/ri_conf.html. Places can be booked through the FSA Website (http://www.fsa.gov.uk/industry/ri_conf_form.pdf).