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FCA calls for investigation into investment consultant competition

The FCA has confirmed its decision to refer the investment consultant sector to the Competition and Markets Authority for investigation.
The FCA first flagged its concerns in its asset management market study, including the potential for vertically integrated business models to create conflicts of interest.
It also outlines today it believes there is a weak demand side in the market, where trustees have only a limited ability to assess advice quality or compare services despite relying on them heavily.
The FCA had rejected proposals offered by Aon Hewitt, Mercer and Willis Towers Watson – who the FCA is concerned have between 50 and 80 per cent market share – to avoid investigation.
Strategy director Christopher Woolard says the decision to refer the market is a “significant step” for the regulator.
He says: “We have serious concerns about this market and believe that the CMA is best placed to undertake this work.”



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Johnson Fleming set to host webinar on auditing auto-enrolment schemes

With 23 auto-enrolment compliance notices issued by the Pensions Regulator, and an evolving legislative landscape meaning previously compliant schemes may now be in breach of regulation, now is the time to think about auditing your auto-enrolment scheme. Johnson Fleming is hosting a webinar on 9 October at 11:00 on how to audit your scheme to ensure compliance, avoid breaches and fines and overcome data issues.


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There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. This is great news for trustees, scheme members, sponsoring employers and also for IFA firms.

    Just as nobody ever got fired for hiring Goldman Sachs, trustees could never really be questioned for hiring Mercer, AH or WTW who represent up to 80% of the IC advice market.

    Hopefully this brave step by the FCA will lead to much greater participation in this market by the wider IFA community as Trustees will be encouraged and have confidence in dealing with a greater number of regulated advice firms.

    Let’s see the PFS publish some guidance for members to help them understand the opportunity this represents.

  2. And how hard do firms such as PWC, Mercer or Saatchi & Saatchi have to compete for the commissions they regularly get from the FCA, which seem to be handed to them on a plate with nothing in the way of any sort of competitive tendering process?

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