FCA head puts pension planning to fore
A glimmer of insight into how the much-debated twin peaks regulatory structure will look has been offered by a senior figure in the FCA this month.
Speaking at the Marketforce and IEA’s annual conference, Clive Adamson, director of supervision in the conduct business unit of the new regulatory arm, said the completed unit is almost in place.
“We now essentially operate internally under the FSA umbrella how we will operate when we are legally formed in 2013,” he said.
Adamson’s speech to IFAs put the spotlight on appropriate advice and professionalism in retirement planning, as poor recommendations can lead to lower incomes and hit investors harder. He added, “The impact of detriment is compounded by limited means to recover from financial loss, especially among vulnerable groups.”
Danny Cox, head of advice at Hargreaves Lansdown, said while the retirement market is a “hot potato” at the moment, with annuity rates so low, he is “not necessarily sure that the retirement industry is any worse or better than other areas”.
However, Jason Witcombe, a certified financial planner at Evolve, said when advising clients, the at-retirement decisions are the hardest to make.
“It is an area that needs specialist treatment and the area where proportionally more focus needs to take place.” He added the difficulty with the market is that it is very easy to look back with hindsight, when in retirement, although there is no right or wrong answer.
Adamson said while 93% of advisers are on track to get the right qualification, more needs to be done within advisory firms to ensure business are ready before the deadline, with there being a “huge opportunity” to do things better in the industry.