2 October 2007
The Smaller Businesses Practitioner Panel (the Panel) has welcomed the FSA's intention to increase regulatory contact with smaller firms.
As a part of the regulatory accountability framework, the Panel represents the interests and views of
smaller financial services firms, and monitors the overall performance and effectiveness of the FSA in
the context of its treatment of smaller firms. Smaller firms make up around 90% of the FSA's
Mark Rothery, Chairman of the Panel, said:
"In my speech at the FSA's Annual Public Meeting in July, I said that the Panel believed those firms
which enjoyed a closer, persontoperson supervisory relationship with the FSA were more likely to
understand and engage positively with meeting their regulatory responsibilities than those that didn’t.
"Moreover, I called for the FSA to consider the fundamental question of whether it was now time for
more resources to be dedicated to the supervision, support of and interaction with smaller firms. The
Panel has long felt that if the FSA was able to 'touch' more smaller firms, this would not only be of
considerable benefit to the majority of such firms that, in the Panel's view, genuinely want to do the
right thing; but would also have a positive effect on consumer confidence and protection.
"We therefore wholeheartedly welcome the FSA's package of measures – announced today designed to do just that.
"While these efforts will not come without some additional cost, this is far from being a false
economy – in fact, the Panel sees it as something of a win/win proposition. This strategy will
incentivise those smaller firms motivated to comply; and act as a meaningful deterrent to the laggards that either seek to do otherwise or who try to fly under the FSA's radar.
"The FSA's new CEO Hector Sants, and Stephen Bland – Director of the Small Firms Division –
should be applauded for their vision and determination to move this initiative forward.
"The Panel would urge smaller firms to view this news in a positive light; and to work with the FSA
in helping make our influential sector an overall stronger and healthier one."
Notes to Editors
- 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 all sectors of regulated business. Until June 2005, the Panel was known as the Smaller Businesses Practitioner Panel.
- The Panel believes that smaller firms have a crucial role to play in a vibrant and competitive
financial services marketplace and in providing consumers with choice, service and flexibility.
- 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 FSA, 25 North Colonnade, London E14 5HS.
- Further information about the role, work and membership of the Panel can be found on its website: www.sbpp.org.uk
- Mark Rothery, the Panel Chairman and CEO of Foresters Friendly Society, 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.fspp.org.uk
- The announcement was made by Hector Sants during an FSA Forum held at the FSA's offices in
Edinburgh The accompanying FSA press release can be found at: www.fsa.gov.uk