Financial Conduct Authority  

FCA considers its own role in advice market

FCA considers its own role in advice market

The Financial Conduct Authority has considered its own role in the advice market and whether it is acting as a barrier to new entrants. 

In minutes published from its November board meeting it emerged the regulator discussed a lack of new advice models as part of its market-wide evaluation of the Retail Distribution Review and the Financial Advice Market Review. 

As part of the review earlier this year the FCA called for input from the industry on the role of its regulation and is set to publish its findings in autumn 2020. 

At the time the watchdog admitted some of its rules might be harming the market and asked advisers if its regulations were driving too many people to seek advice. 

According to the minutes of last month's board meeting the FCA has agreed to the next phase of the review after discussing its own role in the advice market. 

The minutes read: "The board sought to understand whether the FCA itself was a barrier to entry in this sector and was informed that the team was engaging with firms specifically on this point in order to understand why new advice models were not being developed.

"The board was also keen to ensure that the FCA learned from models and approaches in other territories that worked well and noted that the team planned to engage with relevant international regulators and stakeholders."

The board was also briefed on the approach to the supervision of financial advisers and wealth managers.

The minutes said: "[The board] noted the challenges presented by the sector, namely its size, the increasing incidence of crystallised harm and the complicated range of issues."

Speaking with Financial Adviser earlier this year Nisha Arora, director of consumer and retail policy at the FCA, said the City watchdog was open to looking at whether its regulation needed to be changed if found it was "skewing" the advice market.

But she said the regulator was not approaching the review with any "preconceptions".

The majority of the RDR rules were implemented by the end of 2012 to increase transparency in the industry and ensuring clients received high quality advice. 

The introduction of the RDR saw the FCA pull the plug on commission in favour of customer-agreed renumeration and the growing cost of regulation saw some advisers leave the industry. 

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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