The FCA says advisers will “take more care” giving advice following regulatory interventions in light of the British Steel Pension Scheme saga.
Minutes from the regulator’s board meeting held on 6 and 7 December 2017 show the issues with the British Steel scheme were discussed.
Despite criticism from the Work & Pensions Committee on the way the FCA has handed this isssue, the board commended the “proactive intervention” of the supervision team in trying to prevent harm to consumers.
The minutes said these actions meant “advisers were more aware of their obligations and will take more care in giving advice.”
A number of firms have stopped giving financial advice to members of the British Steel Pension Scheme.
The board also received an update on the work being conducted by the FCA to prepare for Brexit. The regulator said it is continuing to monitor the progress of the EU Withdrawal Bill, and associated subordinate legislation.
The FCA is also developing core communication materials related to Brexit, for both internal and external use. The regulator has also completed “preparatory work” in respect to onshoring – which it said would create a good foundation for any further work required.
The FCA is also “embedding a risk management framework into the project” to help the regulator prioritise its work on Brexit, and identify, manage and mitigate associated risks.
Elsewhere, the board received a summary of the responses to the consultation held earlier in the year on the second phase of the Financial Advice Market Review.
As a result of this, the board agreed to make change to its handbook guidance on insistent clients. The situations where customers would be eligible to approach the FOS with their complaints will also be clarified.
The board also approved the Money Advice Service’s draft plan and budget for 2018/19.
The budget request was £84.3m, compared to this year’s budget of £75m. This comprised of a money guidance levy of £27.6m and a debt advice levy of £56.7m. A further £0.5m would go towards transition costs for the new body, which has been reduced following a challenge receive at the Oversight Committee.
The Board also received the paper setting out the proposed Financial Services Compensation Scheme expenses levy limit of £77.7m for 2018/19. This was approved for consultation.
In addition the Board received the proposed business plan and budget for the Financial Ombudsman service for the same year.
It noted there was “significant uncertainty” around funding needs, particularly in relation to Payment Protection Insurance, as the impact of the ‘time bar’ campaign could not be predicted.
The minutes said: “The Board noted that an operational deficit of £62.4m was forecast for 2018/19 and would be funded by drawing from existing reserves.” This budget was approved for consultation.