Compliance help ‘not there to tick boxes’

The associate director of compliance at the Consulting Consortium hit back at comments recently made by Rory Percival, technical specialist at the FCA, about the costs and dangers of over-compliance, saying advisers should not ignore the “pragmatic solutions” and “good business practice” provided by consultants.

Mr Parkinson said: “Firms need to be aware and prepare in areas where the [regulatory] expectations are higher, such as comprehensive documentation of advice suitability, delivery and evidence of fair treatment to all consumers, and demonstration and record keeping of employee competence.

“IFAs are not compliance experts, which is why they employ a support provider or a compliance consultant to sift through regulation and ensure that their business has adequately robust processes.”

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He said firms should be confident that the compliance professionals they employ were not simply putting in processes to verify their existence, but were “keeping it simple and providing pragmatic solutions that are an extension of the business practices a firm already has in place”.

Adviser view

David Carter, director of Devon-based Jigsaw Financial Solutions, said: “Further clarity on what we are required to do regarding compliance would be helpful, especially in view of our need to protect ourselves against both potential claims from clients, and future regulatory changes with retrospective impact.”