The FSA has said that small retail firms are not under the regulatory radar...

Speaking at a conference for financial advisers, Stephen Bland, director of small firms, warned that a misconception that small retail firms could escape the FSA's attention was wrong and risked tarnishing the industry.

The FSA's risk-based approach to regulation enables it to supervise a large number of small firms effectively and assists the regulator to take appropriate action against firms who pose a significant risk to consumers.

Stephen Bland commented: "Our focus is on changing firms' behaviour to benefit consumers. We identify and prioritise risks, take action to mitigate those risks by taking specific action against individual firms. We also conduct industry-wide sampling exercises to look at specific issues which enables us to communicate the results to benefit the market as a whole. Firms that are not trying to comply with our requirements should be aware that they could be visited at any time."