FSA bars nine small firms

Ramesh Sharma

March 4, 2006

Firms supply this information in their compulsory Retail Mediation Activities Return (RMAR). This is the first time the regulator has taken enforcement action against intermediaries for non-submission of the RMAR. The firms involved include six general insurance firms, two financial advisers and one mortgage firm. The RMAR contains key business data that forms the basis of Integrated Regulatory Reporting (IRR) by intermediary firms.

The FSA introduced electronic IRR in April 2005 to streamline the regulatory reporting process.

Jonathan Phelan, head of department, enforcement division at the FSA, said: “Regulatory reporting is essential to monitor firms effectively and to ensure fair and efficient markets. We give firms every chance to complete the RMAR on time and provide information, guidance and reminders of when the returns are due. Firms must take the submission of the RMAR seriously.”

The new way of reporting is designed to be simpler to complete, tailored to each firm’s business and to make it easier for firms to do business with the FSA. The financial watchdog has introduced various initiatives to help small firms complete the RMAR, such as web-based training, webpages, guides and information, available at http://www.fsa.gov.uk/Pages/Doing/Regulated/Returns/index.shtml

The FSA also produces information to help small firms, which includes dedicated webpages, targeted newsletters and information about training and events, available at www.fsa.gov.uk/smallfirms.

Stephen Atkins, group compliance director at Freedom Finance, said: “These are firms that ignored all requests for the regulatory reporting information from the FSA. It’s encouraging there are not more barred but I urge firms not to ignore the regulator in this matter.”

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