Regulation  

FCA to change advice definition in January

But the FCA did provide more clarity on execution-only transactions and its relation to insistent clients.

It said: "If a firm offers a client a personal recommendation and then the client makes an execution-only transaction against the recommendation through the firm, then it is up to the firm to determine whether this guidance is relevant.

"If there is a clear separation between the advice and execution-only channels then the guiance may be less relevant although a firm always needs to consider the client's best interests rule."

The FCA has also proposed retiring two sets of guidance because of the impending introduction of Mifid II next month which, the regulator said, had made this guidance redundant.

It will apply to guidance issued in 2014 on inducements and conflicts of interest in retail investment advice and guidance issued in 2012 on the distinction between independent and restricted advice.

The FAMR report was published in March 2016 and made 28 recommendations aimed at closing the advice gap to achieve “a real improvement in the affordability and accessibility of advice and guidance to people at all stages of their lives”.

But advisers criticised the measures, with some branding them a “waste of time” and a “missed opportunity”. The FCA’s refusal to introduce a much-demanded 15-year long-stop to complaints was blamed on it cowing to “the consumer lobby”.

Among the concrete actions taken as a result of the review has been the creation of the advice unit at the FCA to provide regulatory feedback to firms developing automated models to deliver lower cost advice to consumers.

The FCA has also consulted on the creation of streamlined advice, which would allow advisers to focus on a limited number of their clients' needs.

A progress report published by the FCA in April, to mark a year since the publication of the report, found 10 of the 28 recommendations had been completed, including the establishment of a working group, expanding the time limits for employees to attain a qualification and the regulator has worked with the industry to improve suitability reports.

damian.fantato@ft.com