Richard Sutcliffe, Head of the FSA's Client Assets Unit, gave a speech on 20 November, warning that firms still have a great deal of work to do to ensure firms prioritise clients' money and assets issues.

During his speech, Sutcliffe set out a number of basic CASS issues that firms are still handling incorrectly, for example inadequacies in relation to trust status letters and inadequate audit opinions. 

It is important that firms submit accurate information to the FSA in the Client Money and Assets Returns (CMAR) and audit reports as inadequate reporting will raise questions in relation to whether the same money and assets are being properly protected.

CASS is a regulatory priority for the FSA and will continue to be a priority following the move to the Financial Conduct Authority too. Sutcliffe confirmed that the FSA/FCA will continue with its intensive supervisory approach in relation to CASS. This will mean more visits to firms and return visits to firms that have already been visited to check up on the progress that has been made.