It is now expected to be early 2020 before the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) publishes the results of its review into the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) and Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR).

The regulator’s statement says:

“Following the call for input and additional research we are continuing with the evaluation and expect to publish our final report in 2020.

“Our website previously said we would publish a further update later this year; we’ve now updated that to say in early 2020.”

It is reported that this delay has occurred because the FCA does not want to publish the review during the General Election campaign.

It is understood that the FCA received 57 written responses to its call for input, with respondents including firms, trade bodies and consumer bodies. The FCA also conducted a series of stakeholder events where attendees could communicate their opinions on the effectiveness of these two initiatives.

The financial services trade press is reporting that issues raised by stakeholders include:

  • Access to appropriate services, with some suggesting that more and more advisory firms are refusing to give advice to potential clients who have only a small sum available for investment
  • The regulatory perimeter, which broadly concerns which firms and activities the FCA regulates and which fall outside its remit. In the context of RDR and FAMR concerns have been raised that it is not clear where the boundary lies between giving regulated advice and simply providing guidance
  • The extent of consumer engagement with financial services processes
  • The extent to which innovation could change the financial advice market

The RDR, launched in 2012, required financial advisers to pass an appropriate Level 4 examination, and also banned the payment of commission on pension and investment advice.

The FAMR was a joint 2016 initiative between the FCA and the Treasury, looking at how public access to financial advice could be improved. A significant number of recommendations were made and the FCA listed a number of issues that it wished to cover during its review process.

Sheldon Mills, the FCA’s director of competition, gave some details of what the FCA wants to see in his recent speech on the Open Finance initiative.

Mr Mills told his audience:

“Advice should be easy to understand and accessible at any time. Harnessing the data which open finance could provide, means more individually tailored advice can be given to help consumers manage their financial responsibilities.”

 

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