Opinion  

Holding down the fort - help is coming

Simoney Kyriakou

Simoney Kyriakou

“Hold the fort, for I am coming.”

This was the message US General William Sherman conveyed with the white signal flag to the besieged Union General John Corse.

When the signal was translated, General Corse and his brigade were cheered to mount a vigorous defence of their position, as General Sherman rode to relieve them and secure a decisive victory over the Confederate army.

This message became immortalised in a song by Phillip Bliss and has passed into common parlance, indicating that help is on its way – you just have to hold the fort.

With news the Personal Finance Society has spoken with HM Treasury over effective market regulation, it is clear change is coming. 

It may not take just a letter-writing campaign to MPs, calling on them to urge the Treasury to look into the way in which UK financial services are regulated. 

It may not take appearances before the Treasury Committee or the Work and Pensions Committee, highlighting the link between a lack of adequate professional indemnity insurance, high regulatory fees and a contraction in the advice market. 

It may not even take the collective weight of correspondence to the Financial Conduct Authority, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and the Treasury combined. 

We may not see it in 2021, but the wheels have been set in motion by all of the above. Questions are being asked – at the highest level – about how effective regulation really is. 

Advisers have told us they have met with their local MPs to talk about regulation in the UK, and how the FSCS needs to be more fairly funded and more transparently structured.

Many have prophesied doom, especially for directly authorised businesses. Advisers have told us they see the end approaching and the despair is setting in.

Those who feel this way – hold the fort. Help is coming.