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Advisers welcome FCA’s simplified RMAR plans

Advisers have responded favourably to proposed changes to the FCA’s retail mediation activities return, which they say will reduce the administrative burden of regulation.

In a consultation published last week, the regulator proposed moving from a six-monthly reporting structure to an annual one for section K of the RMAR and allowing firms to complete section K on either a cash or accruals accounting basis. The rest of the RMAR would still need to be reported every six months.

The FCA is also proposing removing section L, which relates to consultancy charging.

It says the changes will halve the annual reporting cost for advisers from £2.6m to £1.3m.

Since 30 June 2013, advisers have had to complete new sections K and L when filling out RMAR returns, which requires firms to send the FCA additional information on initial and ongoing advice charges and whether advice is independent or restricted.

Money Marketing revealed in September that adviser trade and professional bodies were pushing for an urgent review of the RMAR after firms raised repeated concerns over the amount of work involved.

In November, the FCA issued a technical note on section K of the RMAR and acknowledged it had failed to provide firms with enough support.

Apfa director general Chris Hannant says: “It is good to see the FCA responding to industry concerns with this consultation, which should simplify RMAR reporting and reduce the administrative burden on advisers.

“However, it still does not go as far as we would like. We want to see all of the RMAR reported annually.”

Personal Finance Society chief executive Keith Richards says: “The FCA’s announcement is extremely welcome and demonstrates it is pre–pared to listen and be influenced when appropriate.”

Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey says: “When the FCA does something sensible, we must give it due credit.”

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Comments

There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Though I suppose we never will, it would be interesting, indeed useful, to know the extent to which the FCA’s moderation of its reporting requirements has been influenced by representations put to it by APFA.

    To the best of my knowledge, despite calls that it should do so, APFA has never drawn up or put forward proposals for a simplified reporting framework that would make the entire process less complicated and more clearly focussed on the data that the FCA claims it needs intermediary firms to submit. Nor has it called on John Griffiths-Jones to explain just what he meant when describing the FCA’s data gathering requirements as “pragmatic” (defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “dealing with problems that actually exist in a specific situation in a reasonable and logical way instead of depending on ideas and theories”.)

    Pragmatism, I think most people would agree, is hardly a hallmark of the way in which the regulator has ever operated, of which there can be no better example than the way in which it’s still playing hopscotch on the issue of too many people not seeking advice as they approach retirement on how best to deploy their pension funds.

  2. I too have to say that this is more a publicity stunt for the FCA and APFA. Just what has APFA done for us?
    The reality is that we still have to report every 3 months our financial situation and be it every 6 months or 12 months for the dire and meaningless section K makes little difference. Plus ca change.
    As for APFA taking credit – well if there are positives to be taken then I think the individual efforts of others has been ignored. I too have spent considerable time lambasting the FCA and liaising with my MP who has interceded on our behalf. There are probably others too. Let us give credit where it is due.

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