Apfa launches regulation cost survey to hold FCA to account

The Association of Professional Financial Advisers has launched an adviser-led survey to establish a ‘cost of regulation’ index for the sector.

Apfa says the index will allow the trade body to monitor the annual direct and indirect costs of regulation and compliance.

Apfa claims it will be used a benchmark against “which the [Financial Conduct Authority] can be held to account”.

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In January, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme announced that investment intermediaries will see a 38 per cent increase in their predicted levy for 2014/2015 compared to the proposed level this time last year. The life and pension intermediation sub-sector is seeing a 32 per cent rise.

However, in October of last year the FCA revealed plans to re-organise the categories by which its levies are determined, which could result in almost 7,000 advice firms enjoying a drop in how much they had to pay.

At Apfa’s annual dinner in November, Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, said that the industry needs to inform government what is going on in the market.

Yesterday the National Audit Office said the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority will need to demonstrate in future that they are achieving value for money for financial service industry customers.

The results of Aafa’s research will be made available to Parliament, regulators and consumers.

Chris Hannant, Apfa director general, said: “We know the total amount of direct fees that the sector pays relating to the FCA, Fos, FSCS and Mas, but there is no reliable data available about the indirect costs of regulation and compliance.

“To get this, we need advisers’ help. The more who take part, the more reliable our data will be and the more useful it will be in holding the FCA to account.

“We appreciate that collecting the information needed to complete the survey may take a while, but all responses will be hugely valuable and so we urge the industry to take part.”

Advisers wishing to take part in the survey can do so by clicking here.