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.”