The FSA Smaller Businesses Practitioner Panel (the Panel) has today published its Annual Report for 2008/09. As a part of the regulatory accountability framework, the Panel represents the interests and views of smaller financial services firms – which comprise around 90% of those firms regulated by the FSA.

Simon Bolam, the Panel Chairman, said:

“During a difficult and challenging year the Panel has met frequently to consider many significant issues of importance to the smaller businesses community.

The Panel, although valuing its independence from the FSA, greatly welcomes the very open manner in which the FSA actively seeks to involve the Panel in regular, frank and constructive discussions on a very wide range of relevant issues.”

The Annual Report summarises the Panel’s work over the last 12 months and looks at a number of current issues as well as what it considers to have been some positive outcomes in respect of various matters of interest to smaller businesses.

Notes to Editors

  1. The Smaller Businesses Practitioner Panel (the Panel) was established by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in 1999 to represent the views and interests of smaller regulated firms. Its membership is drawn from smaller firms across the key sectors of regulated business.
  2. The current members of the Panel are: Simon Bolam, Principal, EH Ranson and Company (Chairman); Phil Gray, Chief Executive, Beverley Building Society (Deputy Chairman); Gill Cardy, Director, Professional Partnerships; Ian Dickinson, Principal Director, The Brunsdon Group; Paul Etheridge, Chairman, The Prestwood Group of Companies; Peter Evans, Chief Executive, Police Credit Union; Sally Laker, Managing Director, Mortgage Intelligence; Guy Matthews, Chief Executive, Sarasin Investment Funds; Keith Morris, Chief Executive, Sabre Insurance Company; Andy Smith, Managing Director, Cardale Stockbrokers; Andrew Turberville Smith, Chief Operating Officer and Finance Director, Weatherbys Bank Ltd.
  3. The Panel believes that smaller firms have a crucial role to play in a healthy and competitive financial services marketplace - and in providing consumers with choice, service and flexibility.
  4. The Panel can be contacted by email through its secretariat function at the FSA -sbpp@fsa.gov.uk - or in writing c/o the Independent Panels Secretariat at the usual FSA office address.
  5. Further information about the role and work of the Panel can be found on its website:www.sbpp.org.uk
  6. The Panel Chairman is an ex officio member of the Financial Services Practitioner Panel (which has statutory independence from the FSA) to help ensure that smaller firms are properly represented at the very highest level within the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 accountability framework. Information about the Financial Services Practitioner Panel can be found at: www.fs-pp.org.uk
  7. The FSA's website address is: www.fsa.gov.uk. The FSA will publish on its website a formal response to the Panel’s Annual Report.