FCA explains decision to roll back on IFA call recording requirements


The FCA has said that part of the reason it rolled back on plans to make IFAs record calls with clients was because it recognised that “telephone is not the main channel for conversations about client orders” for some advisers.

Last month, the FCA announced that it would amend its proposal to require advisers to tape telephone calls under Mifid II legislation, allowing them to make a written note of the conversation instead.

In board minutes from late February, released today, the FCA says that “significant and wideranging responses” to its consultation had led to the regulator’s change of direction.

The minutes read: “It was reported to the board that significant and wideranging responses to the consultation had been received. This was particularly the case in respect of the proposal to extend the taping requirement to retail financial advisers, with many respondents arguing that the proposal was disproportionate and of questionable relevance to the RFA business model.

“Having considered these representations and after further engagement with industry, the team had concluded there was merit in the argument that at least for some RFAs, the telephone is not the main channel for conversations about client orders. Accordingly, it was proposed to allow RFAs to satisfy the requirement stipulated in the directive either by taping or taking a contemporaneous note of relevant conversations.”

The FCA also confirmed it was extending its planned risk warnings for Lifetime Isa sales by adding a further two risks: “one relating to eligibility for means tested state benefits and the other relating to losing the benefit of an employer contribution to a private pension”.

The board was also updated on “work being undertaken in preparation for Brexit, including the first meeting of the joint HM Treasury/FCA Senior Steering Board in January.”

The board minutes note that City Asset Management chief executive Nicholas Coghill and Edentree Investment Management senior fund manager Sue Round have been appointed to the regulator’s Smaller Business Practicioner Panel, one of four bodies which oversee the FCA.

In March, former IFA Association director Clinton Askew stepped aside after six years leading the panel.

The FCA is looking for a new chief information officer, it added. The successful candidate would have executive responsibility, but report into the FCA’s chief operating officer Georgina Philipou.