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RDR architect Sheila Nicoll to leave FSA

by Danielle Levy on Jan 23, 2013 at 16:03

RDR architect Sheila Nicoll to leave FSA

Sheila Nicoll,director of policy at the Financial Services Authority (FSA), is to leave the regulator in April of this year.

Nicoll (pictured), a key driving force behind the Retail Distribution Review, has announced her decision to leave the organisation when it transitions to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in April of this year.

Having joined the regulator back in 2009 as director of conduct policy, FSA was keen to stress that she has steered their changing conduct agenda, laying the foundations for the new conduct strategy that helped inform the thinking for how the FCA plans to operate. She has also delivered some of the FSA's flagship policy work, in particular the Retail Distribution Review, alongside the funding review of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. 

Sheila joined the FSA from the Investment Management Association in October 2007, where she was director of retail firms division for two years, supervising building societies, life insurers, general insurers and intermediaries during the financial crisis.

Commenting on her decision to leave, Nicoll said: 'I have spent five challenging but fascinating years at the FSA, through what has arguably been one of the most dramatic periods of change the financial services industry has known. I have worked with a truly professional team and strongly believe that some of the policies we have implemented will create lasting benefit for consumers.

'Having seen major policy initiatives such as the RDR through to implementation, I feel now is the right time for me to hand over to those who will drive the FCA's policy approach in the future. I will stay with the FSA until the changeover to ensure an orderly handover and then will explore fresh opportunities. I wish the FCA and its staff every success in driving forward the FCA’s objectives of ensuring a fair deal for consumers.'

Martin Wheatley added: 'I would like to thank Sheila sincerely for the contribution she has made to the foundation of the FCA and for the delivery of complex initiatives such as the RDR and Mortgage Market Review. On behalf of my executive team, I wish Sheila all the best.'

7 comments so far. Why not have your say?

simon hall

Jan 23, 2013 at 16:47

Only time will tell if the RDR is beneficial to consumers. My view is that it will remove access to Financial Advice from the vast majority of the general public and will therefore be severely detrimental to consumers, so Sheila Nicoll will have achieved exactly the opposite of what she set out to.

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Jan 23, 2013 at 17:07

Truly professional team? One disaster to another and one has really to question that statement somewhat.

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Dave Knight

Jan 23, 2013 at 17:11

Another rat deserts the sinking ship after setting the wheel for the icebergs, and will never have to answer for the disaster that eventually unfolds, and the Govt starts asking why people are no longer saving, putting money into pensions, and generally avoiding the idea of financial advice.

Is there anyone still left at the FSA who actually had any input into RDR? I doubt it.

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Jan 23, 2013 at 17:13

With ONLY around 5,500 advisers connected with CISI out of a membership in excess of 30,000 that have reached Level 4+ I tend to sway towards the same conclusion as a few staunch critics of RDR that millions are being left stranded by this crazy doctrine. I doubt full charging transparency will ever be achieved throughout financial services in EU UK or anywhere or that improved professionalism will ever be achieved by an examination process that disadvantages those with ample experience. Ms Nichols exit is good market timing I fear following on the heels of Hector Sants & no doubt others.Don't ever suggest that no-one has been warned about these consequences.

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Grant Connell

Jan 23, 2013 at 17:30

Another fine mess....

Really you couldn't make it up. The legacy of this will be with us for years and she's off in a couple of months.

I think the underpinning principles of RDR (greater transparency, increased professionalism) are truly laudible but I'm not entirely convinced that they'll be achieved and as has already been observed by other commentators the likelihood is that access to good quality financial advice will be curtailed.


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Alan Steel

Jan 23, 2013 at 17:32

Wonder if she had anything to do with the design and vast overspend of the Scottish Parliament , and the Edinburgh Tram fiasco ? And I wonder where she'll turn up next ? Any guesses ?

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A C Wiltshire

Jan 23, 2013 at 17:50

Anyone with less than £50k to invest has been abandoned by the introduction of RDR. The FSA brought in so much red tape to the world of financial advice prior to the introduction of RDR that it now costs in excess of £1k to take on a new client so that even £50k is unlikely to remain the entry point for long. The starting point at which a client becomes financially viable is more likely to become £100k, excluding most people from professional financial advice. Is this what the FSA intended? The FSA were warned that RDR would cause this to happen but as usual they would not listen.

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