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Investment managers and banks top FSA Section 166 chart

Investment managers and banks top FSA Section 166 chart

Investment managers and banks accounted for the largest portion of Section 166, or skilled person reports, commissioned by the regulator over its first quarter.

The reports often result from a Financial Services Authority (FSA) visit and are used to assess whether rules have been broken or if further action might be needed at a firm.

The FSA's power to commission the documents have proved controversial, largely because they have been found to cost firms up to £2 million and swallow up 500 hours of staff time in extreme circumstances.

According to the latest data covering the three months ended 30 June, the City watchdog ordered 23 reports across regulated firms, of which investment managers accounted for four and banks and building societies, seven.

Two reports were commissioned for personal investment firms and a further four at securities and futures firms.

The data has been released as the FSA looks to enter the final stage of a procurement process that will see Section 166 reports tendered out to an approved panel.  Last month the regulator announced it was developing a new process to enable its replacement bodies the Financial Conduct Authority, Prudential Regulation Authority and Bank of England to appoint a skilled person directly.

These individuals could provide a report on any regulated firm or regulated investment exchange, the FSA said, adding that the change in the way Section 166 reports are handled is being ushered in as an amendment to the Financial Services Bill.

The FSA has decided to establish a skilled person panel in two parts, the first of which it put out to tender mid-September and which covers work expected to exceed £173,934.

Selection for the second part will begin later this month, and covers work not meeting the above threshold.

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