The FCA has asked Apfa to produce a cost benefit analysis of the introduction of a long-stop on complaints against financial advisers.
At a meeting between Apfa and representatives of the regulator, including head of investment David Geale, earlier this week, the FCA asked for further evidence on the impact of a long-stop on advisers and consumers.
The regulator said it would consider the case for a 15-year long stop on complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service in its 2014/15 business plan, published in March.
Talks were delayed after the FCA pointed to an EU directive as a barrier to progress. But in December the regulator confirmed the directive would not stand in the way of a long-stop.
Apfa submitted its case to the FCA in writing earlier this month.
It is expected that the FCA will reach a decision by the summer on whether or not to consult on the introduction of a long-stop.
If it decides to proceed, a consultation will be published by the end of the year.
Apfa director general Chris Hannant says: “This was a constructive meeting. It will take the FCA time to come to a firm view and they have said they will do that this year.
“The good news for advisers is that if the regulator was going to say no, it could do that very quickly, so the fact it is taking time is a positive sign. The FCA has asked us to do some further work and we will keep an open dialogue with the regulator.”
Apfa member and Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey, who attended the meeting, says: “The FCA says it is serious about reviewing this. However, a cost benefit analysis would be impossible to calculate – how can you put a figure on the impact of this on advisers and consumers?”
Also this week, Apfa called for an independent audit of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme’s costs after the lifeboat fund’s annual levy rose from £276m in 2014/15 to £287m in 2015/16.
Hannant says: “We believe the National Audit Office should conduct a value for money audit on FSCS’s strategic projects.”