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Amanda Rowland, partner and head of asset management regulation at PwC commenting on the announcements made at the 2013 FCA asset management conference that took place on 30 October…

No-one in the asset management industry should be surprised at the FCA's focus on the use of dealing commissions. But today the FCA has extended its work to include banks and brokers as well as buy-side firms. Given these institutions have been less involved in the debate on dealing commissions to date, this is likely to cause a stir amongst some firms. 

On fund charges, the FCA may focus less on transparency and more on the governance surrounding decision making. Firms will clearly be expected to have the same regard and controls around spending their clients money as when they spend their own. 

It was refreshing to hear the FCA place emphasis on the importance of the asset management industry to the UK economy and to describe a "measured and proportionate" approach to supervision. Clearly collaboration is the new watchword and the focus on this rather than enforcement and adversarial tactics will be welcome. 

Any firm that does not have appropriate processes in place to meet the FCA's expectations on customer care can expect little sympathy from the regulator. The customer's interests must be at the heart of decisions taken, and senior management and the sales teams are expected to be closely involved rather than compliance being left down to the control functions.

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