The FCA is extending its robo-advice team to also help firms wanting to develop guidance solutions
The Advice Unit was set up in the wake of the Financial Advice Market Review last year to assist companies wanting to bring mass-market automated advice models to market by offering dedicated support on regulatory requirements and the authorisations process.
The project will now also open to firms wishing to provide guidance as opposed to full regulated advice in an automated way.
The Advice Unit was originally targeted at the development of investment, pensions and protection advice, but will now also be extended to mortgage, general insurance and debt advice.
In a speech today at the Innovate Finance Global Summit, FCA executive director of strategy and competition Christopher Woolard said: “In a way, our journey has mirrored that of the firms we support: from start-up to a more established enterprise. Over time, we want some of what we do in our innovation work to become the norm in how we operate.
“But we also need to keep evolving as we do that….For example, the Advice Unit, which currently assists firms developing automated advice models will now have a broader remit, taking in firms within the mortgage, general insurance and debt sectors, as well as firms that want to provide guidance instead of regulated advice.”
Clarifying the regulatory boundary between guidance and advice informed some of the key recommendations of FAMR over fears that providers were not offering consumers generalised help because they believed they would have to take regulatory responsibility for ‘advice’.
9 of the 19 firms that applied in the first round of Advice Unit entries were successful, with a further round opened last November.