Keith Richards

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Keith Richards: Partial transfers vital for freedoms

Pension transfers have come under a lot of scrutiny in recent years, due in no small part to the highly publicised mishandling of the British Steel scheme early last year. The fallout from that fiasco has risked damaging public trust in the wider profession. Partial transfers have been an option within pension schemes from as […]

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Keith Richards: Advising the Bank of Mum and Dad

The Bank of Mum and Dad – or Bomad – has become one of the most significant lenders in the market and needs to be considered an important branch for the financial planning profession. In 2016, Bomad financed a quarter of all mortgage transactions, which put it on a par with Yorkshire Building Society. It […]

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Keith Richards: Consumer protection is confused by compensation

It seems the FCA plans to raise Financial Ombudsman Service compensation limits without properly assessing the unintended consequences on the cost and availability of professional indemnity insurance – an area which is already fragile. The irony is that this disjointed approach could end up seeing fewer consumers protected as a result of being left to […]

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Keith Richards: Contingent charging must be preserved 

The work and pensions select committee is calling for a ban on contingent charging, but this would have an impact on consumer choice. We need to protect consumer choice by mitigating growing concerns over conflicts of interest – real or perceived – and the inherent risk to contingent charging more widely. Consumers seek financial planning […]

Keith Richards: The win-win of social impact investing

We were proud to publish a good practice guide on social impact investing last month as part of an initiative started by an independent advisory group chaired by Allianz Global Investors vice chair Elizabeth Corley. The group had been set up by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to increase choice in this […]

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Keith Richards: The FSCS alternative staring us in the face

Unintended consequences of the pension reforms could further affect access to advice, ultimately derailing consumer freedom and choice. There is already evidence professional indemnity insurers are beginning to withdraw cover or harden terms for advisers associated with defined benefit transfers. But this is not a failure of PII. It is a more fundamental system failure, […]

Keith Richards: Do not let DB transfers ruin a year of promise and potential

Industry must focus on continuing the  improved public perception of advice The advice profession can look back at 2017 with a degree of satisfaction after another positive and progressive year. From our perspective, we have continued to see growth in membership for the fifth consecutive year post-RDR and our Festival of Financial Planning united more […]

PFS chief: Stricter DB transfer advice rules are good news

The FCA’s recent proposals to introduce stricter rules on advice requirements for pension transfers are a welcome step in the right direction. Over the past few months I’ve aired my concerns about the spike in pension transfer activity since pension freedoms, with figures from The Pensions Regulator suggesting 80,000 defined benefit pension transfers took place […]

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How advisers can make sure client data is secure

While some advice firms may be a little apprehensive about next year’s introduction of the EU’s general data protection regulation, it offers an opportunity to improve business practices and client relationships. Firms have a year to prepare for full implementation of the GDPR, which represents the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 […]

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PFS chief: Clients should take responsibility if they disregard advice

As part of its professional evolution, the advice sector is establishing greater trust and putting the misselling scandals of the past behind it. But it is time we reminded ourselves of previous lessons learned. The Government’s pension freedom reforms have been broadly welcomed but there is a risk that, unless properly scrutinised, the resulting sharp […]

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PFS chief: Cost of regulation threatens advice firm success

The results of our latest survey of personal finance professionals across the UK, released last month, revealed increased concern regarding the impact of regulatory costs. For the fifth year in a row, regulation and compliance costs have been identified as a key threat to business success, restricting access to advice and adding complexity for consumers. […]