Personal Finance Society  

PFS warns of Mifid 'workload pressure' under coronavirus

PFS warns of Mifid 'workload pressure' under coronavirus

The Personal Finance Society is preparing to help its members navigate a coronavirus lockdown as its warns the 10 per cent reporting rule under Mifid II is adding to "workload pressure and anxiety" in the market. 

The 10 per cent rule, introduced under Mifid II in January 2018, requires advisers to inform a client, before the end of that business day, if their portfolio has dropped by 10 per cent or more compared to its valuation at the beginning of the quarterly reporting period.

In an update today (March 18) Keith Richards warned this could be contributing to "workload pressure and anxiety for consumers at this time".

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Markets have seen some of their biggest daily declines in 30 years as countries close borders and introduce lockdowns to curb the coronavirus crisis.

He added: "The PFS is in contact with the government and regulators regarding the impact of issues that may cause the profession additional challenges in serving the public in the coming months."

Mr Richards said the society would continue to support the advice profession in "these times of heightened anxiety". 

The PFS confirmed it had suspended all its national events planned for the second quarter of 2020 with immediate effect, but said it would still support members with digital CPD content, webinars and good practice guidance on continuity planning, client communications and regulatory requirements in the coming weeks.

Mr Richards said many financial advisers were now turning to remote meetings, rather than face-to-face, with clients who had identified as having to self-isolate during the coronavirus outbreak.

The PFS boss said despite the "unprecedented times" he was confident the "resilience and spirit of the profession" would endure  at a time when clients require coaching and help the most.

Mr Richards added: "Business continuity plans are being put to the test as financial advisers ensure they can continue to meet regulatory requirements and deliver the service agreed with clients while trying to delay the spread of the coronavirus.

"The Personal Finance Society will produce virtual content to assist our members with running their business.

"Financial advice firms are considering the impact of government restrictions on movement, rules on public gatherings, schools being closed and up to a fifth of the workforce being ill at the same time and how they would still be able to provide a financial planning service."

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