Advisers back FCA early warning notice review

Andy Briscoe

Advisers have welcomed an apparent softening in the FCA’s stance on how it will publish early warning notices, following industry concerns about reputational damage.

The FSA set how firms would be supervised in October 2012.

Last week, the FCA published a response to industry feedback, noting concerns that publishing warning notices earlier risks reputational damage to those who may be proved innocent.

It says: “We are considering whether to amend our approach to publishing information about warning notices. We expect to publish our final policy later this year.”

In 2010 the FSA gained the power to publish information about enforcement cases at the decision notice stage, after the firm or individual has had an opportunity to respond. The FCA has the power to publish at the earlier warning notice stage.

Jacksons Wealth Management managing director Pete Matthew says: “It is a power that needs to be deployed carefully. There is a danger of being hung out to dry before it has been established there is anything to be hung for.”

Aurora Financial Planning chartered financial planner Aj Somal says: “I welcome the FCA’s willingness to review its approach, given that an early warning notice could be the death knell for some firms.”