Stephen Cranston Associate editor

We keep hearing that the Financial Services Regulation Act is a step forward for companies and consumers. This act is known as Twin Peaks in reference to the popular 1990s murder mystery drama, which was recently revived. I think it would have been more honest to call the process the X Files. Once again, in almost colonial fashion, SA has followed UK legislation. And it is about to do so again with the Retail Distribution Review. Is it a given that Twin Peaks will be an improvement on the current system? For now, the Financial Services Board (FSB) focuses on nonbanking financial services, insurance being the largest, as well as collective investment schemes and securities. Technically, it regulates the JSE, though in an unbelievably hands-off manner. Over time, the staff at the FSB have built up specialist knowledge in their sectors. From personal experience I can tell you that wasn’t the case 10 to 15 years ago. The other regulator was the Reserve Bank, which oversaw the banks. Thi...

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