Practitioner Panel welcomes FSA's principles-based approach to clarifying provider and distributor responsibilities

The Financial Services Practitioner Panel (the Panel) has welcomed the [FSA's Discussion Paper] regarding the respective obligations of providers and distributors, published today.

Jonathan Bloomer, Deputy Chairman of the Panel, said: "A lot of work and consideration has been invested in this area already by providers, distributors and trade bodies in response to the FSA's Treating Customers Fairly initiative. This document is a helpful attempt by the FSA to add some general clarity, stimulate discussion and provide further encouragement to the industry – providers and distributors - to continue working together to ensure that consumers get the right deal for themselves.

"The Panel wholeheartedly agrees that consumers have a right to be treated fairly, and that the relationship between providers and distributors is an important element of that. However, this is a complex area and one that we think will benefit from an open debate. The paper's high-level positioning by the FSA, without the need at this stage for further prescriptive rules or guidance, is in keeping with the well-publicised move towards a more principles-based regulatory regime and greater reliance on market-driven solutions. The Panel has been broadly supportive of that shift in approach, and views this as a good example of how principles-based regulation can – and should - work in practice.

"The Panel hopes that regulated firms and trade bodies will review this paper and respond to the FSA on any issues arising."

Notes for editors

The Financial Services Practitioner Panel was established under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 to represent the interests of practitioners and is independent of the FSA. Members are drawn from regulated institutions and market users at a senior level. Membership rotates to ensure a balance between consistency and new input. The Panel was set up on a non-statutory basis in November 1998 (as the Practitioner Forum) and became a statutory body in June 2001.
The current members of the Panel are: Roy Leighton, Chairman, Nymex Europe Limited (Chairman); Jonathan Bloomer, Managing Director, Cerberus UK Advisers LLP (Deputy Chairman); Matthew Bullock, Chief Executive, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society; Russell Collins, Head of Financial Services Practice, Deloitte UK; Clara Furse, Chief Executive, London Stock Exchange; Douglas Gardner, Distribution Director, Positive Solutions; Mark Rothery, Chief Executive, Ancient Order of Foresters Friendly Society (Chairman of the Smaller Businesses Practitioner Panel); Colin Keogh, Group Chief Executive, Close Brothers Group; Gordon Pell, Executive Chairman, Retail Markets, Royal Bank of Scotland Group; Nick Prettejohn, Chief Executive, UK Insurance, Prudential; Andrew Ross, Chief Executive, Cazenove Fund Management; Patrick Snowball, Group Executive Director, Aviva UK; Alan Yarrow, Vice Chairman, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein.
Further information on the role and work of the Panel are available on its website:
The FSA's website address is: