There is no doubt that software houses have incurred expenditure in ensuring their systems meet FSA compliance requirements.
Perhaps we can only speculate as to exactly how much can be attributed to FSA requirements as opposed to features that any competent system should have already incorporated to meet brokers' expectations.
Has FSA merely compelled software houses to deliver features that brokers have been requesting for a number of years? FSA, after all is said and done, is merely laying down rules that will demonstrate business is being conducted in a competent manner.
If a system was unable to do that, then clearly there were shortcomings.
Most software houses have taken their usual stance - charge the broker for the enhancement, or indeed in some cases merely offer the enhancement as an optional upgrade.
Surely this is a little like a car manufacturer offering a new car, at say a retail price of £12,000, and then saying, "If you want to actually drive it on the road and comply with the law then you will need our 'Gold' package.
That will cost an extra £1,000 for which we will include lights, a rear view mirror, windscreen wipers, speedometer and seatbelts".
Today a system that does not function or deliver data in accordance with regulatory requirements is of no use whatsoever to a broker. All credit then to Acturis. They delivered the final instalment of their FSA system functionality to all their users entirely free of charge.
Their CEO Theo Duchen comments, "The Acturis team and its partner brokers have been working together for over 12 months and we are delighted by the outcome.
Unlike many of our competitors we do not believe in cashing in by charging our customers for this functionality, nor making it an optional standalone module. Compliance must be at the heart of any system and we believe all our customers deserve to benefit from it".
Let us hope others take note and that this attitude becomes the norm for the future.