Automated Advice  

FCA opens advice unit to applications

FCA opens advice unit to applications

The Financial Conduct Authority will accept new applications for its advice unit after Christmas.

Firms developing a form of automated advice will be able to apply between 3 January and 3 February 2017.

The regulator's advice unit is part of Project Innovate.

It provides regulatory feedback to firms developing automated models that seek to deliver lower cost advice to consumers.

The regulator said it will assess applications for the unit, which offers regulatory feedback on robo-advisers, against its criteria so firms seeking to apply need to consider these guidelines and explain how their proposition meets them.

In September the FCA announced that nine firms would be working with the unit on their automated propositions.

Of these, eight were established financial services providers wanting to bring automated advice to the market “at scale”.

It had received 19 applications for the first round of applications.

To work with the advice unit, a firm must be trying to introduce a proposition which offers genuine consumer benefit, have the potential to deliver lower cost advice to unserved or underserved consumers and its core elements must be automated.

The proposal must also be clearly defined and it must raise regulatory questions which are difficult for the firm to resolve without help from the FCA.

The advice unit was launched in June after being announced in the Financial Advice Market Review report.

damian.fantato@ft.com