The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has renewed appeals to IFAs to let its staff spend up to a week in their firms in an effort to learn more about how they are run.
This month the regulator has written to adviser trade bodies the IFA Centre and the Association of Professional Financial Advisers (Apfa) to ask if any of their members would be interested in voluntarily hosting an FSA employee from between two and five days.
The aim of the scheme is for FSA staff to gain a better understanding of life inside an advisory firm.
IFA Centre managing director Gill Cardy (pictured) said the scheme would not form part of the FSA's supervisory activities and its staff were not there to ‘report back’.
'The FSA staff will just shadow the IFA on what they are doing,’ she said. ‘They are there as observers and not spying. This has nothing to do with supervision; the FSA wants to understand what business in a firm is like.’
Cardy said two IFA Centre members had volunteered for the scheme.
Chris Hannant, Apfa policy director, said: 'The FSA has made a request to us and we will be testing the waters with members.'
A spokeswoman for the FSA said: 'The FSA has done placements for a long time and it is how we engage with advisory businesses.'