AMI against FSA tape-recording stance

Ramesh Sharma

June 1, 2004

Chris Cummings, director-general of AMI, said he was aware the FSA was advising the industry that recording all conversations with clients was a good idea. He said he would urge all brokers to seriously think about the consequences this would have and the message it sends out to their customers.

Cummings explained: “Tape-recording all conversations would have massive drawbacks. Setting aside the massive cost implications, how exactly would this make the firm appear? Is this really what our industry is saying – that we need to protect ourselves above actually serving the clients’ needs? If you went into a face-to-face interview with the customer with a tape-recorder, what are you saying? That you have no faith in your own advice?”

“What is the point in doing this? I would worry if brokers started carrying tape-recorders into client consultations. They would also need the customer’s approval. We would ask all brokers to think very carefully before doing something like this,” he added.

Robin Gordon-Walker, spokesman for the FSA, said: “There is no formal stance from the FSA for brokers to do this. It may be that someone from the FSA mentioned it. It’s not a requirement, just an option for intermediaries. If you want to protect yourself then having a recording as proof may be a good thing.”

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