FSA ordered to name and shame financial advisers

The Information Commissioner has told the FSA to name advisers who performed badly in a mystery shopping exercise. The FSA initially withheld the names of the seven firms investigated for equity release sales. However, the Commissioner has ruled the regulator must disclose the information under the Freedom of Information Act.

The FSA also withheld a list of mystery shopped firms, an example of the questionnaire used, the identities of seven firms investigated on subsequent investment advice and the results from firms and advisers.

The regulator initially claimed disclosure would damage the advisers’ commercial interests and damage the regulator’s relationship with IFAs. It said the ruling could make firms less willing to co-operate voluntarily with the FSA. It said revealing the information would lead to a loss in market confidence or in firms finding it hard to attract new business, and have a negative impact on share price.

FSA forced to 'name and shame' mystery shopped IFAs (IFAonline.co.uk, 7 November 2007)