The FSA will conduct thematic reviews over the next 18 months in three cycles beginning at the end of January.
Four areas will come under the scope of the regulator's investigations; professional standards, charging, description of services and independence and restricted offerings.
It is reported that if the FSA finds firms not meeting its requirements it will give them breathing space to comply and will allow firms a chance to "bed in" the changes brought about by the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) in the first six months of the year.
However following the first cycle of reviews it will issue guidance to firms and if they are found to be failing to follow the FSA's rules after this, the regulator has warned that it will take action.
There remains reported confusion over implantation of RDR and advisers may find themselves being unfairly treated by the FSA who in order to prove their muster may come down hard on areas which are borderline.
Our Business Crime team is able to assist in providing a sense check on any FSA regulatory enquiries or assistance in making relevant and persuasive responses to complaints.
The results of this year's thematic reviews will feed into a post-implementation review of the RDR which the FSA will carry out in 2014 to see what the RDR has delivered for consumers and if any further changes are needed.