Trade bodies ‘to have a greater regulatory role

The framework for Industry Guidance allows trade bodies to create guidelines which are backed by the regulator that members can follow without fear of compliance issues.

The FSA said the move was part of its drive towards principles-based regulation but guidelines would only supplement, rather than replace, FSA rules.

Verena Ross, director of strategy and risk at the FSA, commented: “Trade associations and others have, for many years, provided guidance on regulatory matters for their members. Industry Guidance will give firms advice on ways of complying with FSA principles and high-level rules, in a way that should not only stimulate flexibility and innovation but also tailor the advice to different sectors.”

However, the move has had a mixed response.

Richard Fox, chief executive of the Society of Mortgage Professionals, said: “That the FSA is now saying this is good news. The Chartered Insurance Institute will soon be coming out with some guidelines on equity release, which is well on the way to being approved.”

But Sue Anderson, head of external affairs at the Council of Mortgage Lenders, said: “We are not enthused. The FSA is there to regulate. A diluted version could create a conflict of interest.”

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