This marks the final print edition of Money Marketing for 2018. I know you’ll miss us while we take a short break, but don’t worry, all of our great online content will still be running to keep you updated over the holidays.
Well done for making it this far in a year that felt like a bit of a rollercoaster for financial services, and for financial advisers. Defined benefit transfer rip-offs and Sipp collapses were certainly the low-points, and it wasn’t too surprising when, to tail the year off, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme said it would need to add to its redress pot as a result.
But that well-trodden ground is not what we are dedicating our year-end issue to. We want to celebrate all the successes of 2018, not the failures, as well as the positive changes to come in 2019.
We’re doing this because, on the not-too-distant horizon, there are changes afoot that could significantly improve the situation when it comes to the advice market’s major recent problems.
Let’s take those DB transfer and Sipp fiascos for a start. The most egregious failures have come not from DB transfers in and of themselves, but from the inappropriately risky investments some have resulted in.
Since April, advisers have had to disclose so-called “non-mainstream pooled investments” – basically esoteric or speculative recommendations – in their regulatory returns.
As more firms move to their first reporting period under the rules, the amount of intelligence the FCA has to crack down on the real culprits should increase exponentially. This has been combined with tighter supervision of Sipp providers, and flagship court rulings which will make them take a second look at what funds they are accepting on behalf of clients.
After what feels like an eternity, the FCA has finally published something close to a definitive position on DB transfer advice too. It’s obviously a notoriously complex area, and planners are never going to get all the answers they want, but at least they now have reams more guidance should they desire it.
That’s not even to mention the fact that rules requiring product providers to contribute a quarter of the compensation costs which fall on advisers come into effect in April next year.
I hope that gives you all the more reason for cheer going into your festive holiday season. Have a well-earned break. From myself and all the team here at Money Marketing, we would like to wish you a wonderful Christmas and a delightful new year. Thanks as ever for the continued support, and we’ll see you again in 2019.
Justin Cash is editor of Money Marketing. Follow him on Twitter @Justin_Cash_1