Advisers brace themselves for another financial resilience survey

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Advisers brace themselves for another financial resilience survey
BySonia Rach

Advisers have expressed frustration after receiving a notification for yet another financial resilience survey - formerly the Covid-19 impact survey - from the regulator.

In an email seen by FTAdviser sent to advisers, the Financial Conduct Authority said it wanted to advise individuals that it will shortly be sending a survey to help it better understand the level of financial resilience firms have. 

“This is a repeat of a survey you may have received in October 2022 and must be completed in addition,” it wrote.

“You will receive the survey on one of the following dates: 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th February 2023. Your response must be submitted within 15 working days of receipt of the survey.”

This survey is being sent to all relevant firms in the FCA’s selected portfolios and it said there are a small number of exceptions for reasons such as where firms have provided related information to it as part of another data collection exercise. 

“We expect to repeat the survey in the future,” it said.

However, some advisers have noted their concerns about the survey.

Dennis Hall, chartered financial planner at Yellowtail Financial Planning, said: “This is so close to the half yearly RMAR return for most firms, who will be struggling with tax year end work as it is, which is likely to be dominated by the CGT allowance reduction in April. 

“It’s not an onerous task necessarily, but such a useless one as there is no evidence to show that completing these surveys has added any consumer protection at all, but it is a burden, another burden, and all these non client facing tasks take firms away from the day job.”

Likewise, Richard Bishop, managing director at PFEP Wealth Management, said: "Why does the FCA need another survey so soon after October 2022, what do they think has happened in four months? Why does it need to go back within 15 days? They could allow more time, no reason they need the data back that quick.”

The City watchdog said it requires advisers to complete the survey in full, under section 165 of the Financial Services & Markets Act (FSMA) 2000. 

The FCA may exercise its powers under FSMA for firms who do not respond. 

“We have designed this survey so that it is quick and simple to complete. However, if due to exceptional circumstances you cannot access your financial information, please ensure that you complete the questions where the relevant information is available.”

Bishop said he appreciates the FCA has a job to ensure small firms are not facing difficulties.