Adviser trade and professional bodies have united to demand the FCA carries out an urgent review of the retail mediation activities return as adviser anger grows over increasing regulatory costs.
Research from the Association of Professional Financial Advisers puts the total industry cost of meeting regulatory reporting requirements at over £10m a year.
Apfa senior technical adviser Linda Smith says an urgent review of the electronic reports, and the difficulties they are causing small firms, is needed.
She says: “We have concerns there is a confusion over the terminology. We are also worried that too much information is required and we need the FCA to let us know that all this information is being used and if not then why is it all being requested.
“We have particular concerns about Section K but we are requesting an urgent review of the entire RMAR process and the pressure the current reporting is putting on smaller firms.”
Since 30 June, advisers have had to complete new sections K and L, which requires firms to send the FCA additional information on initial and ongoing advice charges, whether advice is independent or restricted, and how advice is paid for.
Personal Finance Society chief executive Keith Richards says PFS members have also expressed RMAR concerns.
He says: “We think there is an urgent review needed and with advisers still in a period of immense change we think the regulator would understand the concerns we have.”
IFA Centre managing director Gill Cardy says: “I would absolutely support any review which reduces the amount of work advisers have to put into completing these returns. I would also like to hear the regulator explain exactly why it thinks they are necessary and what information they gain from them.”
Plan Money director Peter Chadborn says: “The regulator has failed to articulate why it requires certain information, so it is not surprising the RMAR is being met with resistance. It just seems like extra work for little tangible benefit.”
An FCA spokesman says: ”To regulate effectively we need to collect data, not only to supervise individual firms but to ensure the whole market is functioning well. In a data strategy, to be published this week, we will lay out the FCA’s new approach to requesting information from firms to ensure we do so in a clear, consistent and cost-effective way.”