31Jan

Adviser trade body publishes results of its under 40s survey

The Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association (PIMFA) has published the results of its Under 40 Forum Report, which aims to ensure millennials receive the professional advice they require.

PIMFA CEO Liz Field opens the Report by acknowledging the principal issue, saying that “the wealth industry [needs] to get to grips with how [under 40s] think about, plan and interact with money.”

The other concerns discussed in Ms Field’s introduction include:

  • The under 40s generation may end up paying more in tax to fund social care
  • The Government must examine what motivates under 40s to save money; or for those who don’t save anything, why this is the case
  • Financial education could have a part to play here

Some of the key findings of the survey were:

  • 44% of respondents said it was too expensive to save for retirement, and only 13% said they were actively saving for retirement. The number of people saving for a holiday, which was 22%, was higher than the retirement figure. The report says “under 40s tend to seek instant gratification, focusing on current needs over saving and planning for the future”
  • Only one quarter of respondents were contributing to a workplace pension, when other studies have suggested that 68% of over 40s are contributing. Despite this, 41% of under 40s said they expected to maintain the same lifestyle in retirement
  • 85% said they wished that they had received financial education in the past, with 17% describing themselves as having low financial literacy. PIMFA says it is worried that young people’s lack of financial knowledge could lead to them falling victim to a scam, or being prosecuted for tax evasion

The key recommendations made by PIMFA as a result of the study include:

  • Better promotion of tools that allow people to see what pension income they will receive in return for a certain level of contribution
  • Provision of a low-cost robo-advice model
  • Reform of the tax system so that there were incentives for younger people to save money
  • Introduce stamp duty relief and allow individuals to use the money they receive from this to be used towards the cost of care
  • Employers to provide mandatory financial education at least annually
  • Reduce student loan repayments for those making pension contributions that exceed a particular proportion of their salary
  • Increase the minimum workplace contribution levels, which currently allow savers to contribute 5% or more of their qualifying earnings and require employers to add at least 3% of earnings. Also, the Association suggests removing or raising the £50,000 upper limit to the qualifying earnings band

The Report cites 2017 research by Forbes, where younger people were asked what they would consider spending their cash on if they were to accumulate any savings. The respondents were able to mention more than one area, but 81% said they would spend their cash on travel, 65% on dining and other socialising and 55% said they would spend on gymnasiums and other fitness facilities. All of these ranked higher than keeping the money invested and saving for the long term.

4,772 under 40s participated in the survey and PIMFA then held a Forum with 47 representatives of the financial services industry.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article

29Jan

MAPS expects a debt call every four minutes

On January 11 2020 the Money and Pensions Service (MAPS) highlighted just how many people are seeking debt advice. It said that, by the end of the month, it expected to have received 3,500 debt-related calls. Based on the Service’s helpline being open for 230 hours during the month, this equates to one call every four minutes. A credit card bill that includes the cost of Christmas is unlikely to be a welcome sight, especially if that bill arrives before the first payday of the year.

Generally speaking, Monday is the busiest day of the week on the MAPS helpline, and the Service says it expected to receive the most calls on January 20.

MAPS suggests that it is now receiving more calls than previously because of a recent change in the regulations. Banks and credit card providers are now required to warn customers if more than 50% of their repayments are going towards paying interest, fees and charges; i.e. if less than 50% of their repayments are being used to reduce the capital balance. The Service thinks it is now receiving more calls from consumers who receive these communications.

In addition to the 3,500 calls, January 2019 saw 26,000 people visited the debt advice locator tool on the MAPS website. The organisation has recruited new staff to handle the expected deluge and says the number of people employed on its helpline has risen by 20%.

MAPS says that nine million adults in the UK meet its definition of being ‘over-indebted’, i.e. their debts are a significant burden and/or they are regularly in arrears with payments. It adds that only one-third of those who are over-indebted are receiving debt advice, but that where people do seek advice, 64% have reduced their debt levels within six months.

Caroline Siarkiewicz, acting chief executive of MAPS, said:

“We know what a difficult time of year this can be for families who are worried about the bills piling up. It can be tempting to avoid confronting money worries after an expensive Christmas but the sooner you act, the easier it will be. Debt advice works. You can speak to the Money Advice Service for free, confidential help, connecting you with expert debt advice in your area.”

In an interview with the Wake Up To Money programme on BBC Radio Five Live, Ms Siarkiewicz added that she was particularly concerned by buy now, pay later schemes (offered by many retailers) and how some people were not aware that falling behind with payments on these arrangements can affect access to borrowing in subsequent years. On this subject, Ms Siarkiewicz commented:

“These schemes attract younger people and are pretty straightforward. [However] many do not understand borrowing in this way. It is great if you pay it off quickly. But many are not thinking about the future enough before they sign up to take out these products.”

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article

28Jan

FCA clarifies the Brexit position now a deal has been approved by Parliament

At time of writing, the re-negotiated UK/EU withdrawal bill had not been officially ratified, but only the formalities of Royal Assent now need to be completed. Brexit will now finally happen on January 31 at 11pm British time.

The withdrawal agreement includes a transition period, which will last until at least the end of 2020. During this period, the existing trade relationship between the UK and the EU will remain unchanged. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has clarified that the existing European financial passporting scheme will remain in force throughout the transition period, meaning that, for now, firms only need permission from their own national regulator, plus a ‘passport’, to trade across the European Economic Area.

The UK regulator also warns firms that EU law will still apply in the UK throughout the transition period, and any relevant new EU legislation passed this year will also come into force in the UK. All EU-derived consumer rights will also continue to apply in the UK.

The thoughts of the FCA and UK firms are now turning to the post-transition period. At present, there is something of a stand-off, in that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ruled out an extension of the transition period beyond the end of this year, while EU officials say it will not be possible to negotiate anything but a very basic trade deal within that timeframe. It appears that any ‘bare bones’ deal would only cover the movement of goods and would not include any agreement regarding financial services and the other service industries that comprise 80% of the UK economy. FCA-regulated firms still face an uncertain time and a different sort of ‘no deal’ remains possible, i.e. one where no arrangement regarding financial services is agreed by the end of the transition period.

It is thought unlikely that the passporting regime will continue after the transition period, so many firms need to prepare for a scenario where they still need to carry on trading in Europe, or servicing contracts for EU-based customers.

There may be a need to prepare for Brexit if any of the following apply to a firm:

  • The firm provides regulated products or services to customers resident in the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • The firm has customers based in the EEA, including those who were previously UK resident but may now have moved abroad
  • The firm markets regulated products or services within the EEA. This would include any firm whose website might in any way be targeted at EEA residents
  • The firm has service providers who are based in the EEA
  • The firm transfers personal data between the UK and the EEA or vice versa
  • The firm is part of a wider corporate group that is based in the EEA
  • The firm receives funding from an entity based in the EEA
  • The firm outsource or delegates tasks to an EEA firm, or vice versa
  • The firm is party to legal contracts which make reference to EU law

The FCA says:

“Over the next year, we will work with the Government to ensure that the UK financial services sector is prepared for the end of the implementation period. As things develop during this year, you will need to consider how the end of the implementation period may affect you and your customers, and what action you may need to take to be ready for 1 January 2021.”

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article

27Jan

FCA chair suggests credit unions could compete with sub-prime lenders

Charles Randell, Chair of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) posed the question “Is this the decade of the credit union?when he addressed the National Credit Union Forum in January 2020. One of the key topics in his speech was whether the credit union sector is poised to offer genuine competition to established lenders. Some unions are developing a new loan offering to compete with commercial lenders, while others are seeking to turn council taxpayers in arrears into savers.

The key themes of the speech were:

  • Community-based lending is key part of growing the supply of affordable credit.
  • Accelerating the growth in credit union membership requires a transformation of the sector.
  • Credit unions need governance that’s equal to this transformation challenge, while continuing to protect consumers and prevent financial crime

Mr Randell said unaffordable debt traps consumers in a state of financial and psychological distress and commented on the lenders who had recently been the subject of FCA enforcement action. He said the twin strategy of clamping down on unscrupulous lenders and promoting credit unions should lead to better consumer outcomes. On this topic, Mr Randell said:

“By reducing the volume of unaffordable credit being granted by the commercial consumer credit sector, we are improving consumer outcomes. And at the same time, we’re levelling the playing field a little, so that credit unions have a better chance of engaging with consumers before they fall into the hands of lenders with a very different set of values.”

In a 2017 survey of 1,553 individuals who were unable to obtain a payday loan, only two said they approached an illegal lender. The FCA chair used this to suggest that price caps work and that other caps may still be introduced on various forms of lending.

The FCA chief then praised initiatives such as ‘save as you borrow’ repayment plans and prize draws for savers as ways in which credit unions are trying to get more people into the savings habit.

Noting that growth in the credit union market has been slow, the FCA speaker said that one way of addressing this could be to offer tax relief and other incentives to encourage investment in credit unions.

After initially painting a positive scenario, Mr Randell then suggested some unions had a lot of work to do before they were deemed satisfactory. He suggested that there was a need for credit unions to learn advanced risk management and about technological solutions and said that the FCA had uncovered failings in many credit unions relating to governance, anti-money laundering and knowledge of regulatory requirements. His comments on this topic were:

“As we set out in our portfolio letter to credit unions in July 2018, it’s vital that all credit unions, regardless of their size, have effective governance arrangements with appropriate oversight, systems and controls. We found evidence that governance arrangements fell short in a number of credit unions, coupled with a lack of understanding of our regulatory requirements. In some cases, we saw inadequate financial crime controls, leading to a risk of credit unions being used to facilitate financial crime. We need the people governing sector to do these basics well. But they also need to find time to think about their long-term strategy and sustainability.”

Finally, Mr Randell acknowledged the challenges involved with achieving significant growth, saying “a transformation of the credit union sector would require an enduring partnership between government, regulators and credit unions; and potentially others: such as local authorities, housing associations, debt counselling charities and providers of basic bank accounts.”

The FCA aims to assist credit unions through seminars, roundtables and online information.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article

24Jan

FCA highlights what firms need to do in the next 12 months under SM&CR

The Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) has finally arrived, and most authorised firms will be only too aware of what they needed to do prior to December 9 last year to ensure they complied with their obligations.

However, there are a number of areas where firms have extra time to carry out certain requirements under the Regime. For example, firms have until December 9 to:

  • Train their staff on the five Conduct Rules and how they apply to each individual job role
  • Carry out their fit and proper assessments on individuals covered by the Certification requirements of the Regime
  • Provide the FCA with the information it requires for the new Directory

The Conduct Rules are:

  • Act with integrity
  • Act with due care, skill and diligence
  • Be open and cooperative with regulators
  • Pay due regard to customer interests and treat them fairly
  • Observe proper standards of market conduct

The Conduct Rules apply to all staff, except for those listed on pages 45 and 46 of the FCA’s SM&CR Guide.

The Certification element of the Regime applies to individuals within the firm who are not Senior Managers, but who still hold positions of responsibility, especially if their actions could have a significant impact on whether the firm’s customers are treated fairly. For examples of who might be included, please see page 32 and 33 of the FCA’s SM&CR Guide.

There is no need for individuals in Certification roles to be approved by the FCA, however firms are required to carry out their own annual fit and proper assessments. On completion of the assessment, the individual should be provided with a certificate that states that the firm is satisfied that the individual is a fit and proper person to perform the duties of their role. The certificate must also explain the aspects of the firm’s business in which the individual will be involved.

The FCA suggests that a fit and proper assessment of a person in a Certification role might include:

  • Criminal records checks
  • Obtaining regulatory references

An assessment of fitness and propriety must consider the individual’s honesty, integrity and reputation; competence and capability; and financial soundness.

In very small firms there may be no one who is subject to the Certification Regime, because there might be a team of senior managers and then some more junior administrative staff, with no one in between. Sole traders, for example, will not have anyone subject to the Certification requirements.

Regarding the Directory, firms should log in to the FCA’s Connect system. Some of the required information will already have been populated by the FCA. The firm will then need to provide the remaining information. A list of the information that will appear on the Directory can be found on page 5 of Policy Statement PS19/7

The FCA concludes the item on SM&CR in the January 2020 issue of its regulation round-up by addressing the issue of a firm’s culture. The relevant item reads

“Firms’ culture and governance is a priority for us and should be for you too. We expect firms to embed healthy cultures as this will lead to better outcomes for consumers and markets. It should lead to a healthy and fulfilling environment for employees in which diversity and inclusion is the norm. It should also lead to healthy and sustainable returns for businesses.”

The FCA’s idea of what ‘the right corporate culture’ really means appears to include areas that some firms may not have thought of. For example, a recent Dear CEO letter highlights that, in the FCA’s view, non-financial misconduct issues should be included in the fit and proper assessment of senior managers. Some examples of non-financial misconduct, according to the FCA letter, could include discrimination, harassment, victimisation and bullying.

Finally, the FCA urges firms to check their entries in the existing Financial Services Register to ensure it shows the correct information about their senior managers.

 

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article

21Jan

FCA writes Dear CEO letter on non-financial misconduct

The latest Dear CEO letter from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is specifically aimed at wholesale general insurance firms. However, the ‘non-financial misconduct’ issues covered in the letter could also be relevant to other authorised firms.

Jonathan Davidson Executive Director of Supervision, Retail and Authorisations at the FCA, starts by setting out the responsibilities of senior management to ensure that misconduct does not occur within their firms.

Here, Mr Davidson says:

“Following recent, publicised incidents of non-financial misconduct in the wholesale general insurance sector, I am writing to set out our clear expectation that you should be proactive in tackling such issues. We expect you to identify what drives this behaviour and, where appropriate, modify those drivers to shape proper conduct.”

Incidents of non-financial misconduct could include discrimination, harassment, victimisation and bullying, and there are no rules regarding these areas in the FCA Handbook. However, the letter says that if a firm has a poor corporate culture, it can lead directly to customer detriment, in addition to any harm affecting the firm’s employees.

The letter says that non-financial misconduct will be a key area as the FCA supervises senior management under the new Senior Managers & Certification Regime.

Mr Davidson’s letter emphasises that:

  • The FCA believes that a firm can only address issues of non-financial misconduct if they have effective leadership from senior managers who encourage a positive culture throughout the firm
  • Non-financial misconduct issues should be included in the fit and proper assessment of senior managers, as honesty and integrity are two of the issues included in assessments of fitness and propriety. The FCA will consider any “known relevant issues of non-financial misconduct’ when it approves a senior manager, and firms will then be required to consider any non-financial misconduct when they conduct re-assessments of a manager’s continued suitability for their role
  • The FCA expects firms to have effective whistleblowing procedures
  • The FCA expects firms to have incentive structures that encourage staff to act in the right manner

The letter concludes by asking CEOs to discuss the matter with the firm’s Board of governance (or equivalent) and to implement any changes that may be necessary. A firm’s responsibilities are summarised as:

“We strongly encourage firms to reflect on any inconsistencies between espoused (or implicit) purpose and strategy and business practice, people management and formal governance, systems and controls.”

The FCA will hold a webinar and a conference on the issue of firms’ corporate culture during 2020.

 

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article

20Jan

FCA conducts podcast on changing pension regulation

The continually shifting pensions landscape is the focus of the latest Inside FCA podcast.

One of the regulator’s key messages on pensions is conveyed in the video by Chris McGrath, Head of Investment Intermediaries and Scams at the FCA. He notes that firms are instructed not to advise a client to transfer out of a defined benefit (DB) scheme unless there are specific circumstances that justify such a recommendation. At the same time, he says that many firms are still recommending that the majority, or all, of their clients transfer out of their DB arrangement. Mr McGrath suggests that this situation represents something of a contradiction.

The first item in the podcast is an acknowledgement that consumer choice in the pensions sector has increased dramatically. Not so very long ago, retirees would either receive an income for life based on the number of years they had been with their employer or would receive a fixed income for life via an annuity. Now, not only are there considerably fewer defined benefit occupational schemes, but consumers have a myriad of options, such as entering into a drawdown arrangement, or even withdrawing all of their retirement savings as cash, all at a time when life expectancy is rising, and individuals can expect their retirement to last much longer.

Mr McGrath mentioned that whether to transfer a pension or not is “a very complex decision” and commented that “sometimes advisors aren’t always giving the best advice.”

He added that FCA reviews of the investment advice given by firms showed that in around 90% of cases, the regulator believed the advice given by the firm was suitable. Mr McGrath then said that the equivalent figure for pension transfer advice was just 50%, which he described as “simply not good enough”. Another statistic quoted by Mr McGrath is that the FCA assessed the pension transfer advice of 63 firms last year, and that 24 firms – more than one-third of the total – had practices that were so poor that the regulator had to impose a suspension, preventing the firms from giving transfer advice until they have satisfied the FCA that their procedures and practices will deliver favourable client outcomes.

Mr McGrath went further and questioned the motives of advisers who recommend pension transfers. He referred to “firms that have not managed the conflict between the fees they charged often on a contingent basis and what is the best interest of their client individually” and highlighted the FCA’s proposal to ban contingent charging arrangements – this is where the adviser will only receive a fee from their client should a transfer take place.

Emma Stranack, the FCA’s Head of Business and Consumer Communications, highlighted that the pension freedoms introduced in 2015 had led to an increase in scams and pension-related fraud. She referred to the activities of scammers “providing potential lucrative opportunities for people that are tempting, they have very sophisticated websites” and mentioned the FCA’s ScamSmart campaign that aims to educate consumers and allow them to identify when an investment opportunity may be too good to be true.

The FCA also obtained an external view by asking Keith Richards to contribute to the podcast. As the head of the Personal Finance Society, a trade association that represents advisory firms, he re-iterated the FCA’s central position on transfers, saying:

“The starting point is generally it’s not going to be in most people’s best interest to give up the safeguarded benefits that that scheme provides.”

However, Mr Richards commented that the FCA’s close scrutiny of pension transfer advice was increasing professional indemnity insurance premiums, and he claimed that some firms have been forced to exit the market as they had been unable to obtain any insurance.

 

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article

17Jan

FSCS sets out how it can help some mini-bond investors

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has announced that at least some of the people who invested with a mini-bond issuer firm will get compensation.

Mini-bonds are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), so when the firm collapsed in January 2019 it was initially believed that none of the firm’s customers would receive any redress via the FSCS.

However, giving financial advice is regulated by the FCA so it has been announced that some customers who received advice from the firm will now get their money back.

Initially it has been confirmed that the 159 bondholders who switched from stocks and shares ISAs to mini-bonds will now receive compensation from the FSCS. This redress will be paid before the end of February 2020 and the affected customers do not need to take any action.

In due course, the FSCS will invite any other customers who think they may be in line for compensation to submit their claim. Essentially this means that claims will be invited from bondholders who think they may have received advice as opposed to just being given information about the product. FSCS says it hopes to start reviewing these claims in the first quarter of 2020 and to be in a position to issue a further update by the end of February. It adds that “FSCS acknowledges that many customers were given incorrect information about investing in [name of firm] bonds, [but] being given incorrect information on its own does not constitute misleading advice.”

One of the most controversial aspects of this announcement is that many customers did not receive advice to invest in the mini-bonds but claim that they were told that the products did enjoy FSCS protection. Customers in this situation will not receive any redress from the FSCS.

The FSCS has also confirmed that the 283 customers who dealt with the firm before June 7 2016 – the date on which it became authorised by the FCA – will definitely not receive any compensation from the Scheme.

Around 11,600 bondholders purchased a total of 16,700 bonds from the firm, and collectively these bonds are worth £237 million. The customers who do not qualify for FSCS protection will need to submit a claim to the administrators Smith & Williamson, and latest predictions say that they may receive compensation of between 20% and 25% of their investment.

Caroline Rainbird, FSCS CEO said:

“I regret that [name of firm’s] investors impacted by the firm’s failure have been waiting several anxious months to find out whether or not they may be eligible to receive compensation from FSCS.

“In reaching this stage, it was essential we carried out a thorough factual and legal analysis. To assist our ongoing investigations, we have received over 7,000 questionnaires and obtained thousands of telephone recordings and a vast number of emails. We have also taken legal advice.

“I appreciate that the initial decisions and outlook we are announcing today are likely to be disappointing to many [name of firm] customers. We are, however, working as quickly as we can to establish a suitable process for determining customers’ claims, and expect to be in a position to start this process in the next few weeks.”

 

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article

15Jan

Advisers still see regulation as their biggest risk

A study by Canada Life has demonstrated that the UK’s financial advisers still see compliance risk as their biggest risk area. However, perhaps the main message from the survey is that 71% of the advisers who participated think that the risks they face have risen over the past five years, while only 2% said the risks they face have decreased.

When asked to state their single biggest risk area, 34% cited ‘compliance risk’. Not only does this represent one-third of the respondents, but more than three times as many advisers mentioned this when compared to ‘time management’, which came second on 11%. Economic risk was third on 9% and this area covers a variety of external factors, such as market volatility, the potential effects of Brexit and the general health of the UK economy.

When advisers were able to mention several risk areas, 72% mentioned compliance risk. Economic risk now ranked second, at 50%, with time management third on 47%. In fourth place, 38% of advisers mentioned cyber risk.

However, when advisers had been asked to name their single biggest risk, cyber risk was only mentioned by 5% of respondents, ranking below legal risk, economic risk, time management and compliance risk. This has led to some commentators suggesting that many within the industry continue to underestimate the threat posed by cyber criminals.

When asked to name their preferred strategies for reducing the risks they faced, 43% of respondents mentioned technological advances. In second place, 38% mentioned reducing costs.

Neil Jones, Tax and Wealth Specialist at Canada Life, said:

“The range of challenges in front of advisers is massive – they need to cut costs, reduce compliance burden through efficiency, appeal to an always-on generation wanting always-on answers, and defend themselves from cybercrime, to name just a few.

“Risks are moving smaller advisory firms to embrace technology at unprecedented levels. There is some low hanging fruit for advisers, with automating part of the back-end business being one example. Potentially this can help increase efficiency, cut costs and, done right, may help reduce the regulatory hassle by automating part of the compliance burden.

“The challenge for smaller firms will be achieving this while keeping a tight lid on costs. Unlike larger firms, they’re a lot less likely to be able to employ a full time, IT specialist in house. Freelance wealth IT specialists could find themselves increasingly in-demand in the coming years.”

 

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article

13Jan

Trade bodies PIMFA and FLA unveil their wishlists for the new parliamentary session

As a new parliamentary term commences, the financial services trade associations are wasting no time in seeking to ensure ministers are aware of the views held by the associations’ members.

The Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) is lobbying the new Government asking for changes to be made to the Consumer Credit Act, including:

  • Changes to the wording firms can use in arrears communications. The Association says the existing prescribed wording on these communications is “severe” and adds that it believes the language used can deter customers from seeking assistance from their lender at the very time when they most need support
  • Firms to be given the power to give borrowers more time to make their payments
  • Changes to the information disclosure requirements so that customers who deal with lenders via smartphones do not need to do “30 to 150 swipes” to review their agreement and other documentation

Stephen Haddrill, Director General of the FLA, said:

“Government should reform the CCA urgently, rather than continuing to turn a tin ear to those in financial difficulty, or those trying to help them. Consumers need to be given a credible, firm promise of legislation early in the new Parliament; legislation that will deliver protections appropriate for the 21st century.”

Mental health charities have also commented in recent months that anyone who is in debt and suffering from a mental health condition would also be intimidated by the language used in arrears notifications.

The Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association (PIMFA) says its top three priorities are:

  • Reducing the amount that firms need to spend on regulatory compliance, and on associated areas such as professional indemnity insurance
  • Better co-ordination of financial education programmes in schools
  • Facilitating the provision of ‘financial MOTs’ by employers. These would happen at age 30, 40, 50 and 60 and would be undertaken by a regulated financial adviser.

PIMFA intends to lobby Parliament on January 23.

Liz Field, Chief Executive of PIMFA, said:

“We are committed to building a culture of saving and investment across the UK and this starts with ensuring that policy makers are able to create an environment where ordinary retail savers can thrive. We look forward to working with the new government in moving towards this goal.

“As representatives of a community of wealth creators in the UK, we look forward to engaging constructively with the next government whatever its colour or composition. When Parliament returns, we will do our utmost to ensure that this community is at the heart of any plans which go towards building a culture of saving and investment.”

 

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article

 

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