AM Online

Share price fears over FSA failures

Reg Vardy believes the failure of retailers to meet the forthcoming Financial Services Authority regulations on insurance-related products will reflect badly on the motor sector, potentially causing a headache for plc’s share prices.

The £1.3bn turnover group, which last month became one of the first retailers to receive its ‘Minded to Approve’ letter from the FSA, is wary of an investors backlash should many groups miss the January 15, 2005 launch date.

“These regulations will help us refine and evaluate our activities so we were keen to meet the standards,” says Rob Butterwick, Reg Vardy group financial services manager. “However, we believe the failure of dealers and repairers to meet these regulations may reflect badly on the market in the eyes of analysts, investors and partners.”

Reg Vardy’s application was submitted in June, well ahead of the FSA’s deadline of July 13 for entries to be processed in time for January 15. According to a recent AM survey, more than 40% of dealers missed the deadline.

Martin Johnson, motor group chairman at accountants UHY Hacker Young, says: “Losing the right to sell these products will mean a massive loss of revenue.”

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