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Clarification of advice will be defining moment

Gillian Roche-Saunders

Overall, the changes should remove at least some of the disincentives for firms to invest in accessible, technology-based distribution models for retail investment products, and will put the UK on a level playing field with Europe. The benefactors of this change will include robo-advisers and banks offering non-advised investment platforms, plus those wanting to provide research to the retail market and crowdfunding platforms that provide risk ratings to the shares and bonds they list.

It may seem like there is nothing in all this for the traditional financial adviser business, but more forward-looking firms should quickly spot that there is nothing to stop them taking advantage of the FCA’s forthcoming new guidance on streamlined advice by developing their own simplified models that are effective in a face-to-face setting.

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Gillian Roche-Saunders is head of venture finance of Bovill