FSA criticised for communication failings

Angela Faherty

June 10, 2006

Speaking to Mortgage Introducer, an industry source said the FSA had failed to inform the broker community through newsletters or e-mail alerts that it was having problems with its systems. “The FSA has been having trouble with its website. For firms completing their RMAR returns this could have been a major problem. It takes a lot of time to input all of the data.

“Many firms that complete their RMAR returns would not have seen the notice on the FSA site because they complete their returns in other ways. It took me a while to find it, so it could have been a potential disaster.”

A statement on the FSA website confirmed the regulator had technical difficulties because of planned upgrades, and, following problems with the site, the FSA confirmed it had granted an extension to any firm with a RMAR return date of 31 May to 13 June. However, the source added: “What if it happens again? It could have been a lot worse if the date was when lots of firms were handing in their returns.”

Responding, Sam Bennett, press officer at the FSA, said the message did not go out to every single firm because it did not affect all of them. She added all the firms affected were contacted individually. “We had a few teething problems with our operations. However it only affected a very minute amount of firms, all of which were contacted.”

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