Advisers bemoan repeated FCA Covid surveys

Advisers bemoan repeated FCA Covid surveys
Photo: Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

Advisers have expressed frustration at yet another Covid-19 resilience survey from the regulator, branding the exercise "laughable" and "bonkers".

Julian Pruggmayer, principal of Financial Risk Management, said he was unhappy to have received yet another mandatory survey from the Financial Conduct Authority to gauge financial resilience.

He said: "I have just received notification from the FCA of its continued surveys as to the effect of the coronavirus on the financial stability within the financial services.

"[This is] laughable, when one considers that by the outlawing of commissions, the regulator managed to financially affect possibly more advice firms than coronavirus ever can."

He said the Retail Distribution Review, which came into effect in 2012, had led to a significant reduction in the numbers of people able to get independent financial advice and had therefore had a bigger impact on the financial advice profession than Covid-19.

Neil Liversidge, owner of West Riding Personal Financial Solutions, tweeted: "I see the FCA is issuing yet another Covid survey.

"They must be really disappointed that with all their efforts and Covid-19 combined, they still have not managed to exterminate us."

Dominic Thomas, principal of Solomon's Financial Planning, agreed and said the repeated Covid surveys were "bonkers".

He tweeted: "We are waiting time actually ticking boxes for no real benefit."

A spokesperson for the FCA said: "The data is important and is helping us to understand the impact Covid-19 is having on the firms we regulate allowing us to identify emerging risks of harm to consumers, the market and competition, and prioritise our supervisory interventions.”

It is understood that while the survey is mandatory, not every question will need to be completed, so firms should fill the survey in as best as they can.

Their comments came as the City watchdog announced it would be sending out the sixth iteration of its coronavirus financial resilience survey.

As reported by FTAdviser, the regulator said this was a repeat of the survey it issued in August last year, and must be completed. The FCA said it was issuing the survey again to help it better understand the impact of Covid on firms’ financial resilience.

Regulated companies will receive the survey on one of the following dates: January 18, 19, 20 and 24. Responses must be submitted within 20 working days of the business receiving the survey.

Have your say: email FTAdviser to let us know what your feelings are about this and other similar surveys.