FCA ‘more proactive’ over inducements

The head of business development for self-invested personal pensions at national pension administrator and actuarial consultancy Barnett Waddingham, said the FCA was more proactive than the FSA, which he said “feared losing cases”.

Mr Leggett’s comments came after the FCA, which replaced the FSA in April 2013, published finalised guidance this month.

The 18-page paper, Supervising Retail Investment Advice: Inducements and Conflicts of Interest, followed a thematic review and consultation last year that looked at how firms were implementing the RDR.

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Citing the final guidance paper on inducements, and the FCA’s more interventionist approach, Mr Leggett said he had been impressed by the approach of the FCA.

He added: “The inducement paper is welcome – there are many firms not doing enough to cast off suspicion that they are continuing to pay a form of commission, and we need to see the regulatory enforcement that comes with this paper.”

A spokesman for the FCA said: “The rules on inducements are not new. With our most recent work we have attempted to be as clear as possible of what is acceptable, and what falls short of the standard we expect.

“This was particularly important as the RDR aimed to increase transparency and professional standards in the investment advice industry.”

Speaking in response to the FCA’s inducements paper, Mike Pendergast, IFA for Cheshire-based Zen Financial Services, said: “I haven’t experienced any offers for these types of inducements from providers. It’s not something that has affected my business.”