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Read it now: FCA fee hike imposes barrier & need to stop scams

Read it now: FCA fee hike imposes barrier & need to stop scams

The latest Financial Conduct Authority fee proposal for new firms has left senior commentators concerned it could pose a barrier to entry for advisers.

Speaking with Financial Adviser, Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society, said he was worried that the proposed £250 fee for Senior Managers and Certification applications could act as a barrier to entry, introducing "burdens for smaller firms".

He said more widely the proposed fee shake-up, announced late November, might end up acting counter to the drive for more competition and more new blood in the financial advisory industry. 

His comments were echoed by Gemma Harle, managing director of Quilter Financial Planning, as well as Tim Fassam, director of government relations and policy at advisory trade body Pimfa.

Coming at a time when the Financial Services Compensation Scheme levy and the ever-rising hike in professional indemnity insurance has been a particular bone of contention among advisers, especially in this tough economic climate, Mr Fassam told senior reporter Rachel Mortimer that any proposed fee hikes made by the FCA at this time should be "well justified" and "transparent".

Elsewhere in Financial Adviser, advisers spoke of their increasing frustration at getting access to historical client data from several financial services companies. 

In some cases, as they told senior reporter Imogen Tew, they have been asking for the withdrawal history of clients' bonds to make sure their client is not hit by a tax charge - only to be told the process is too "time-consuming" for the provider, and that the client or adviser will have to do the legwork themselves.

In other cases, it has taken weeks for providers to even respond to advisers' requests for information.

Meanwhile, figures from Which? revealed the appalling extent of financial scams in the UK, particularly amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

As reported by editor Simoney Kyriakou, over 10 per cent of scam victims have fallen prey to false and misleading advertising on social media and the number is predicted to rise unless search engines and social media companies do more to protect consumers.

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Until next week, take care

Simoney Kyriakou, editor