Consolidator chief on what he learnt from FCA review

Consolidator chief on what he learnt from FCA review

The chief executive of one of the consolidators which took part in the Financial Conduct Authority’s review said he found it a “positive experience”.

Stephen Harper, chief executive of Attivo, said his company has now made a number of changes following the FCA’s review of its processes.

The FCA said it reviewed the practices of six firms which had recently acquired clients through the purchase of another legal entity or a client bank, but did not reveal which firms they were.

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The regulator said it was “disappointed” with the findings of its advice consolidation review, which found none of the firms involved were able to demonstrate clients’ needs were suitably considered on a consistent basis.

As well as Attivo, it is understood AFH, Succession and Bellpenny took part in the review.

AFH bosses declined to comment on what they thought about the regulator's paper when FTAdviser contacted them.

A spokesman for Succession said the consolidator's bosses were unavailable for comment.

Bellpenny stated it had no ongoing issues with the regulator following the publication of the outcome of the FCA's review.

Mr Harper, chief executive of Attivo, said: “We found the process with the FCA really interesting and overall a positive experience.

“As a small firm, undertaking a more discerning approach to acquisitions, we do not consider ourselves in the same league as the consolidators.

“However, following the visit from the FCA we have been able to make a number of changes in the business that have helped to improve client experience, their outcomes and transparency; and we are a better business for it.”

While there were some examples of good practice, the FCA said firms tended to focus on the commercial benefits of consolidation and did not focus on the impact on the client.

Among the issues the FCA found were details of the services offered by the new firm and the level of charges were not provided to clients at the start of the new relationship.

The FCA declined to comment on which firms it worked with on the review.