Treasury prepares for financial services regulation review

Treasury prepares for financial services regulation review

The Treasury is set to press ahead with its review into the future of regulatory structures in the UK imminently.

Following its 2019 consultation paper: Financial Services Future: Regulatory Framework Review, the second phase of the Treasury’s review into the UK’s regulatory structure will be unveiled in the next few months, according to Pimfa.

Speaking on a podcast with FTAdviser, Tim Fassam, director of government relations and policy for the trade body, said this was an “opportunity” for the UK advice market.

The review will look into aspects such as the checks and balances on the regulator, and how the Financial Conduct Authority interacts with the Treasury.

Earlier this year, the Treasury stated it would consult on its approach to the next phase of the review in the second half of this year, so the consultation is imminent.

Mr Fassam said: “A lot of that may seem technical, and how parliament interacts with the FCA may not seem relevant to IFAs, but this will determine how their overarching strategy operates.

“One of the big opportunities is to find ways of bringing these wider concerns [about the advice market] to the FCA.

“They have to look at what regulation is doing to the wider market, and to the attractiveness of the UK as somewhere to run a financial advice business, and whether they are promoting good consumer outcomes overall.”

Keith Richards, a fellow panellist on the podcast, agreed there needed to be an overhaul of the way in which the UK financial advice market was regulated.

He said it was time to bring about the Financial Advice Market Review 2, and it is this that the Personal Finance Society has been proposing to the Treasury and the FCA during recent meetings.  

The chief executive of the PFS said: “It is time for a complete review. If you are a regulator, you should be there to engender trust in the sector you are regulating, not undermine it.

“The FCA has a really important role here, to equally influence the government that it is time for a root-and-branch review.

“We have written to the chancellor; in fact we had a meeting with the Treasury in September to continue that dialogue around the need for FAMR 2.

“We need to engage the government in a much wider debate that incorporates protection and the cost of operation and the barriers to entry.”

Rob Sinclair, chief executive of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, agreed HM Treasury needed to consider changing legislation.

He said: “FAMR 1 restricted the scope significantly to pensions and investment advice. If we are going to do this piece of work this time it has to be right across the advice piste, and needs to bring in mortgages and insurance broking.

“It is fundamental that whatever solution we produce out of the back end of this it has to work for every aspect of the advice marketplace, and we have to work together to deliver that outcome.”