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APFA in renewed push for long-stop implementation

According to the director general of the Association of Professional Financial Advisers, its members strongly believe that a long-stop should be introduced.

The association, which last year ran its Limit the Liability campaign in association with life and pensions provider Zurich and Financial Adviser, conducted a survey among its members.

The figures, compiled by NMG Consulting, revealed that, when asked what they would most like to see the FCA address to reduce the regulatory burden on adviser firms, nearly one in three - 32 per cent - said the introduction of a long-stop topped their wish list.

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In addition, 26 per cent said they would most like a reduction in the level of data collection and regulatory reporting.

Mr Hannant said: “We know from our recent work that the long-stop is an issue of real importance for advisers, and these results reflect our belief that the time is now right for the FCA to reconsider the long-stop issue.”

He said that the regulator has a new set of principles from the FSA so it is right that it should look again at the topic in light of those new objectives.

Mr Hannant added: “The long-stop isn’t a case of advisers gaining and consumers losing - there are a number of different ways to provide certainty and retain appropriate consumer protection.

“The message from advisers is clear. A long-stop is the single biggest step the FCA can take to reduce the regulatory burden they face. We will continue to press the FCA for progress on this issue.”

Background

In October, coming as APFA called for a regulatory dividend, Richard Howells, UK intermediary sales director for Zurich, said that it was clear that many advisers had not grasped the potential impact of an unlimited liability on the value of their business.

However, he warned that if a long-stop were to be implemented, it could not just cover advisers, but it would have to cover the entire industry and all stakeholders, such as banks.