Regulation  

2021 – A focus on regulation

The desire to ensure consumer protection is further highlighted by the FCA's guidance for insolvency practitioners dealing with regulated companies, published in May. This contains an expectation that practitioners write to entire populations of customers if the company's conduct is such that they may have claims for redress. 

In contrast to this is the somewhat surprising news that the FCA is consulting on whether to remove financial losses suffered following the failure of advice companies from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme's remit – this would not seem to be particularly consistent, but (to deploy a favourite quote of mine) consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. 

This could mean a lower levy for companies in the future but will presumably lead to a lower level of consumer protection – perhaps the hope is that the new Consumer Duty will render the FSCS unnecessary. 

In closing, the approach of the regulator in 2021 has led (and will further lead) to what is probably the most heavily protected area in which consumers can receive professional advice becoming even more heavily protected. The regulator's approach seems to be that no one should lose out financially despite the inherent risk of making any sort of investment.

David Allinson is a partner at RPC