Aegon has raised fears regulatory arbitrage could enable the Money Advice Service and The Pensions Advisory Service to go further than private sector providers on Budget guidance.
The FCA is consulting on delivery of the guidance guarantee and earlier this year separately published a paper setting out boundaries of non-advised sales, simplified advice and full advice.
Aegon head of regulatory strategy Steven Cameron says: “Looking at the two side by side it looks like some of what the guidance guarantee partners would be able to do would, if delivered by a regulated party, fall into the ‘advice’ category.”
The FCA’s paper on non-advised sales and simplified advice sets out a range of scenarios where information given to consumers could be considered a personal recommendation if it has been influenced by personal financial information taken from the individual.
Cameron says it may create a mismatch with the scope of the Budget guidance package: “For the guidance guarantee to work at all the guidance guarantee partners will need to collect quite a lot of information and signpost accordingly. At the very least we need complete clarity so that we have a coherent approach both for regulated firms and delivery partners. If we begin to have mis-matches the FCA may be storing up potential problems for the future.”
The firm this year launched its Retiready D2C investment platform with pension planning tools and a limited range of investment options.
Several other D2C platform providers go beyond pure execution only and provide some guidance.