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Apfa says FCA concerns are just ‘teething problems’

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Apfa director general Chris Hannant

Apfa believes the FCA’s review into how advisers are approaching the RDR shows firms have made good progress and argues issues around charging disclosure are just “teething problems”.

Responding to the concerns set out by the FCA last week, Apfa director general Chris Hannant says, given the scale of the RDR changes, the review is largely positive about advisers.

He says: “A lot of progress has been made in a short period with many firms acting in line with the rules. However, it is to be expected in adapting to new ways of charging that there will be some teething issues as companies refine the way they operate. The review also questions how firms represent themselves with regard to being independent or restricted. Our experience is companies are very definite about the models they are now operating. But for customers, there is need for improvement and clarity around distinctions.

“We will be looking closely at the FCA’s research to see how we can help members learn from good practice in this area.”

Hannant adds the regulator has recognised many advisers have got to grips with the RDR, and this should now be translated into lower adviser fees. He says this will help the adviser sector recover numbers and help ensure clients continue to be looked after.

Investment Quorum chief executive Lee Robertson says: “Firms have had to undergo a huge amount of change and at times work against a backdrop of mixed messages from the regulator.”

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