Opinion  

FCA is making a list and checking it twice

Emma Ann Hughes

Emma Ann Hughes

Santa Claus is coming to town, but before he does, you need to tell the regulator want you want in order to offer advice to more of the public by 22 December.

The deadline for feedback to the Financial Conduct Authority and HM Treasury’s input paper for the Financial Advice Market Review is just a few days before Christmas, delivering with it another deluge of lacklustre novelty Snowman jumpers and smaller chocolate selection tins.

At FTAdviser’s Retirement Freedoms Forum earlier this week, the regulator’s technical specialist Rory Percival admitted while there is “quite a lot of information the regulator puts out” this input paper is a must read.

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“If you have views on what your sector looks like and around access to advice, this is your time to have your input and have your say,” he stated.

“If there is an advice gap, what are the reasons for that? Are their legislative or regulatory reasons why that [advice] is not happening? Could things be done differently?

“I came up to Leeds on Monday last week, when the input paper was published, and I comfortably read it within that journey. It will only take about an hour or two,” Mr Percival noted.

“There are lots of questions but you don’t have to answer all of them. If there are one or two particular areas of interest I strongly recommend you give feedback on those.”

He continued that the review is very different from the normal consultation process, in that it is much more open. “We really want to know what the issues are so we can resolve those issues.”

Mr Percival promised there would be a lot of engagement with the industry with roundtables, roadshows and high level meetings, but just as Christmas will be here before you know it, I want to urge you again to work on your feedback to this review now.

Don’t wait until those adverts chanting “holidays are coming” before you pick up your pen and spell out how regulation has pushed you further away from advising the average man on the street.

Write and post your wish list to the FCA today. You can write your list for Santa tomorrow.

emma.hughes@ft.com