FCA responds to criticism of expert panel

FCA responds to criticism of expert panel

The Financial Conduct Authority has responded to criticism of the make-up of the Financial Advice Market Review expert panel from claims management companies and wealth managers.

The make-up of the panel is dominated by providers, despite the fact the Financial Advice Market Review is supposed to focus on barriers preventing advisers from helping the masses.

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These representatives include: Andy Briggs, chief executive of Aviva; Ashok Vaswani, chief executive of retail and business banking at Barclays; Chris Rhodes, group retail director of Nationwide; Nicky McCabe, head of investment trusts at Fidelity; Nick Hungerford, chief executive of Nutmeg; Jackie Noakes, managing director of Legal and General mature savings; and Richard Rowney, managing director of LV Life and Pensions.

From the wider world of financial advice there is just Gill Cardy, insight consultant for wealth at Defaqto; Richard Freeman, chief executive of Intrinsic; Robin Keyte, a director of Keyte Chartered Financial Planners and member of the FCA’s Smaller Business Practitioner Panel; and Ian Gorham, chief executive of Hargreaves Lansdown.

The panel also features consumer champions Gillian Guy, chief executive of the Citizens Advice Bureau; Alex Neill, director of campaigns and communications at Which; Sue Lewis, chairman of the Financial Services Consumer Panel; and Tom Wright, chief executive of Age UK.

Liz Field, chief executive of Wealth Management Association, said that while it was great to see one of its member firms on the panel, “we do hope that the voice of the traditional wealth manager will be heard”.

“They are the majority of the members of WMA and have many years of experience in the advice and guidance space, with over 13,000 qualified professional advisers operating from 520 offices throughout the UK, and who particularly want to see changes to enable them to contribute to closing the advice gap.

A spokesman for the FCA said the members of the panel were selected by Mr Prettejohn, who chairs the panel, in consultation with the Treasury and regulator.

“The review has already engaged with trade bodies and will continue to do so to ensure that their ideas are heard,” the statement added.

On Friday, FTAdviser reported Peter O’Donnell, chairman of Sussex-based The Claims Bureau, was unhappy that no claims management companies featured on the panel.

He said his industry played an important role in representing retail clients to complain about misbehaviour of regulated financial services companies and advisers. “We have the eagles and wolves on the panel, what about the sheep and the turkeys?”