Financial Conduct Authority  

Fees should top the to-do list for the new FCA boss

Rachel Mortimer

Rachel Mortimer

Exponential increases in adviser regulatory bills, driven by a growing FSCS levy, are pushing some to consider the commercial viability of their business model.

It is widely acknowledged the growing financial demands will see some advice firms leave the market altogether, while others are already having to pass the cost on to clients by increasing hourly rates in a bid to balance the books. 

While the FCA has agreed it wants to see "polluters" shoulder more financial liabilities in the industry, it has made it quite clear it has no intention of shaking up the specific funding structure of the FSCS any time soon - most recently ruling out the option of the much-debated product levy. 

But if the prospect of small businesses buckling en masse under the pressure of rising costs is not enough to enlist the support of the new FCA boss, perhaps the prospect of the widening advice gap which is set to inevitably follow will be.

After all, protecting consumers is a pillar upon which the regulator is expected to firmly rest. 

Despite this, and as editor-in-chief of FTAdviser Dan Jones pointed out last month, the pleas of advisers are vying for Mr Rathi's attention against the likes of a global pandemic and the end of the Brexit transition period - two challenges in themselves which have created a sea in which the issue of fee reform might be lost. 

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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