At the same seminar mentioned above there was also a speech by Linda Woodall, FSA Head of Savings & Investments Department. The subject matter included ‘Intensive Supervision’ and what it means for smaller firms.
In the eyes of the FSA the latter are part of the fabric of financial services and we were informed that no small firm will fall under the FSA radar. Intensive Supervision encompasses focus on outcomes and taking a more proactive approach when looking at the robustness of business models.
For larger firms this could include challenging senior management, which of course is not practical as far as small firms are concerned and which make up the majority of authorised firms.
To overcome this the FSA has been putting together a profile of firms based upon returns submitted plus environmental considerations. The idea is to get a risk map for each small firm or type of firm which will make it easier for them to spot outliers.
Because of the area that Ms Woodall works in it is tempting to think that this will only apply to retail firms. However as the audience represented a mixture of wholesale and retail it was taken as read that this was the FSA speaking to all small authorised firms.