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FCA to review adviser engagement strategy

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The FCA is developing a new strategy for how it engages with advisers.

Responding to annual appraisals from the four statutory panels charged with monitoring the regulator’s performance, the FCA says it is looking to bolster its interaction with advisers.

The regulator is currently conducting a series of events around the country it is calling Live and Local, where advisers can hear its views on compliance and professional governance as well as take part in surgeries with FCA supervisors.

The events programme has cost the FCA more than £150,000 to date. The regulator says it is planning to build on this work and roll out a new targeted communications strategy in the second quarter of 2017 to “enable better engagement with firms and individual advisers”

The FCA says: “We are reviewing the tone and level of detail of communications within [the life insurance and financial advice division] to build on the interaction to date at both Live and Local events and regional conferences. For example, we have undertaken external communication activity with over 5,000 advisers over the last year. A more targeted communications strategy is currently being developed to enable better engagement with firms and individual advisers, and this is expected to begin being rolled out in Q2 next year.”

The FCA said it had also taken on feedback from the panels that firms may be having to provide too much information to clients.

The FCA says: “We note comments that the level of information firms are required to provide for consumers is excessive, which also came out through FAMR and are looking at this through the output of the Smarter Consumer Communications Feedback Statement.”

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Comments

There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. ‘The events programme has cost the FCA more than £150,000 to date’. Where do they find the money for that I wonder. Oh, and from memory we had to pay for Live & Local anyway. If the revenue generated from the ‘very full’ rooms that I saw didn’t cover the cost of the ‘tour’ then you have to wonder how much wastage there was.

  2. I suspect the advisers who have attended FCA events will mostly agree the exercise was good value for money

    • Dear Mr Percival I don’t think anyone would dispute the VFM obtained, I think the first post was actually questioning the headline cost. If this cost the FCA £150,000 to put on the various events and attendees were charged (I think from memory it was £80 pp but am very happy to stand corrected if this is an error), how much of the £150,000 did the FCA get back in attendance fees to offset this? If this figure is very much lower net of attendees fess then shame on MM for creating a very false impression. If the figure of £150K is the after the cost of attendees fees, then shame on the FCA because that is scandalous. It would be nice if MM can come back to the readers and bloggers with a definitive answer to this. So MM, can you and will you?

  3. Wasn’t Sheila Nicholl (now booted out in the wake of her contemptuous behaviour towards the TSC alongside Hector Sants back in March 2011) quoted as having claimed that the FSA “takes on board” feedback that the regulator receives in response to its endless consultations? No one believed her then and no one believes that the FCA is any different now.

    On what basis are we expected to have any faith in the FCA when Hector Sants is allowed to keep his knighthood, awarded in the wake of one of the regulator’s very worst periods of derelictions of duty and more questions than ever are being asked about value for money it provides?

    The FCA says: “We note comments that the level of information firms are required to provide for consumers is excessive”. We’ve been telling the FCA that for years but it’s refused to listen. How many clients are remotely bothered about reading Fund FactSheets, KIID’s, independent assessments of each and every fund, illustrations of possible future benefits (which seem to be more concerned about showing charges and their effects than anything else) and KFD’s? I’ve asked a few of my clients and the answer virtually every time is Not at all. Would it not streamline the advice process massively if all that advisers were required to do is OFFER these items so the client can choose?

    The FCA’s obsession with the idea that the client must be given ten tons of information, irrespective of whether he actually wants and can understand it all, so as to enable him to make an informed choice, is way off beam and patently isn’t working. The FCA’s “new strategy for how it engages with advisers” needs first and foremost to be based on listening to what we have to say. Otherwise, it’ll all be just more empty talk.

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