The implementation of Mifid II will be a “significant challenge” for advisers in 2017, Chris Hannant has said.
The director general of the Association of Professional Financial Advisers said this would be particularly true if the Financial Conduct Authority “gold plated” the rules.
Among the changes which may be introduced under Mifid II is the requirement that financial advisers should record their telephone calls, a ruled which Apfa has questioned.
Mr Hannant said: “Apfa continues to call for a common sense approach to telephone recording under Mifid II and is working to present alternative solutions to the FCA.
“Through 2017, preparing the implementation of Mifid II and Priips will be significant challenges for advisers, especially if the FCA decides to gold plate the directive.
“With Brexit in the background, we face the slightly odd scenario where we will prepare to implement something that may not apply a year or two later, but my instinct is that even without the European Union obligation the FCA would want to introduce something similar.”
Mr Hannant said the FCA’s mission would also be a big issue for advisers in 2017, and said the regulator should set out its expectations of consumers as well as firms.
The FCA is currently consulting on plans for a mission statement which would set out how it approaches the “broad objectives” it has been given by HM Treasury.
Mr Hannant said: “It will give us a better idea of what they expect from firms and consumers.
“It is also time for the FCA to set out what responsibility it expects the consumer to bear.
“Setting standards of behaviour for firms and consumers would give us a better framework of expectations that the Financial Ombudsman Service should then operate within.”
Looking back at 2016, Mr Hannant expressed disappointment with the Financial Advice Market Review.
He said the FCA should address the cost of regulation which he said was the “key factor” for the cost and accessibility of advice.
Mr Hannant said: “By and large the conclusions from Financial Advice Market Review were disappointing with the majority focused on tweaking guidance.
“It is our view that an unwillingness to address the fundamentals will not see any meaningful change in access to advice.”