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Aviva pulls adviser hospitality over inducements concerns

Aviva has pulled its corporate hospitality for advisers in the wake of FCA inducements rules.

Last month, the FCA issued final guidance on inducements and conflicts of interest which banned advisers from extravagant hospitality.

Aviva’s changes will affect any adviser offering investments, protection or pensions.

Advisers and providers have to ensure all hospitality is reasonable, benefits clients and there is not a better way of helping clients. Overseas trips and expensive overnight stays without a clear purpose are likely to fall foul of the rules.

Other providers are examining the paper to ensure they comply. They have three months to make changes or face FCA action.

An Aviva spokeswoman says: “The FCA has issued guidance on its position on hospitality for distributors. Following this new clarification, we have decided not to host hospitality events for our life distributors. This is to ensure that both Aviva and our distributors adhere to the FCA’s ruling on this matter.”

In January, Sesame pulled its adviser roadshows in the wake of the new rules.

Last week Openwork defended its decision to hold a conference in Rio de Janeiro for over 100 of its top advisers.

The network, which is 25 per cent owned by Zurich, said it fully funds the conference itself. It adds the event is part of an ongoing engagement programme to enable advisers to share ideas and best practice. 

Worldwide Financial Planning IFA Nick McBreen says: “This is definitely overkill and an unfortunate reaction by providers. Will every training day be seen as an inducement because there is a lot of good work that goes on. If providers stop offering training then it will be another burden on advisers’ time and costs. It is unhealthy and dangerous. It is a question of how far these new rules go.”

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