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Bankhall rolls out product selection tool

Bankhall has launched a new tool to help directly authorised firms understand the key compliance and suitability considerations when recommending investment products to retail customers.

The new tool and supporting guidance is primarily aimed at independent advisers, who are required to consider all investment products when advising retail customers, in order to comply with the FCA’s independence and suitability rules.

However, Bankhall said it will also be useful for restricted advisers in selecting appropriate investments from their panel, or where customers have existing products that could be considered for further investment.

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The tool enables advisers to identify all retail investment products that must be considered by independent firms; identify products that might be suitable for individual customers, based on their circumstances; and, identify products that have additional firm permission requirements in order to advise or arrange them.

In addition the tool identifies the products that have additional qualification requirements in order to advise on them and create their own independent or restricted product ‘panel’ based on the needs of their customer base and their own product research.

Yesterday, platform due diligence provider AdviserAsset launched a new comparison tool aimed at advisers to support decision making around clean share class transfers for clients, following Financial Conduct Authority guidance published last month.

Stephen Gazard, managing director for Bankhall, said: “Advisers are facing a number of regulatory challenges following the RDR implementation, which introduced a new definition of ‘retail investment product’.

“Further product categorisation is expected in January 2014, along with a ban on the sale of non-mainstream pooled investments to ordinary retail investors. This is making it increasingly difficult for firms to understand their compliance obligations when recommending investments to their customers.

“We believe there is a real need for practical guidance to help streamline this process for independent advisers. We are confident that our new tool will help make the process easier for advisers to continue to deliver the best service to their customers.”