Expense Account, Mint
Iknew theoretically that large finance firms—banks, financial product manufacturers and financial advisory firms—move to countries with lax regulation. But I am seeing this happen real time right now. In the next two years, I expect large boat-loads of suits to wash up on the Indian coast. They’ll all be escaping from rules that make cheating retail investors very difficult. The British regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), has just raised the bar for investment advice and is continuing its practice of large-ticket fines to show that its teeth actually bite. A January 2011 FSA paper titled “Assessing Suitability: Establishing the risk a customer is willing and able to take and making a suitable investment selection” (http://bit.ly/fOb8by) lays out the results of an audit of advisory firms between March 2008 and September 2010. The report looks at the practical issues of implementing the suitability criterion in product sales and financial advice.