FSCS money not so well spent

FT Adviser – 7th November 2013

The Financial Service Compensation Scheme has recently started to spend money sponsoring articles in the national press and taking advertising space to promote itself to the general public. Am I the only one who finds this somewhat bizarre and outrageous?

To be clear, the FSCS performs a vital role in protecting the public. Furthermore, if a customer needs to fall back on the FSCS, he will be directed to it by many other means, such as the regulator, the Ombudsman, financial institutions themselves and, of course, brokers and advisers. There appears to be no evidence whatsoever of large numbers of customers failing to be compensated due to their ignorance of the scheme. In the light of this, why does the FSCS feel it necessary to spend other people’s money promoting themselves?

The revenue given to the FSCS needs to be spent prudently and wisely. How offensive for an adviser to struggle to finance any form of advertising, only to watch as part of his contribution to the FSCS is spent on a totally pointless media campaign.

This is yet another sign of blinkered omniscience from those providing and overseeing the regulatory framework in the UK. They continually fail to consider they have a duty to spend their money – raised by compulsory levies from regulated firms – fairly, ethically and wisely. Instead this unchecked and unchallenged money is used by these authorities to fund things that, quite frankly, they should not be doing.

Advisers have already had to put their hands in their pockets and pay for the regulator’s own form of Money Advice Service – surely this is the job of regulated and qualified advisers?

They are now paying for an FSCS advertising campaign to fix a non-existent customer need. What ever next?