The FCA board has expressed concern over the timing of the Financial Services Consumer Panel’s December report on the annuities market.
The panel published the report on 9 December, which found huge differences in commission payments from non-advised annuity services.
The minutes of the FCA’s December board meeting, held days after the FSCP report was published, reveal the board expressed “some concern” at the timing of the publication in view of the ongoing work the FCA was carrying out in this area.
The minutes say: “It was noted, however, that this work had been commission by the panel some considerable time ago, before it was known that the FCA intended to carry out work on annuities.
“The board noted the executive and panels should work together to co-ordinate publications where appropriate.”
The minutes, published last week, also show that advice firms’ interpretation of independent advice was discussed at the December meeting of the Smaller Business Practitioner Panel.
The minutes say: “The board noted the FCA recognised these concerns and that work was ongoing in this area.”
The minutes also reveal the FCA’s Risk Committee is concerned the regulator needs to better understand consumer credit firms’ business models in order to regulate them effectively when it takes over regulation of the sector in April.
In an update from the Risk Committee’s November meeting, the FCA board was told: “The FCA needed to understand consumer credit firms’ business models in more detail in order for it to be able to target interventions.”
The minutes state the board acknowledged this was a risk and that the FCA would only have information gathering powers for these firms from 1 April.