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FCA rolls back on ‘skilled person reports’ into advice firms

The FCA did not issue any “skilled persons reports” into retail investment or pensions and retirement income businesses in the three months to the end of July, latest data shows.

Skilled person reports, also known as S166 reviews, are commissioned by the FCA when it has concerns over a firm’s activity or wants more information.

These involve a third-party visiting a firm at the expense of the business under investigation and can lead to enforcement action such as a ban or fine against the firm.

The S166 was the tool used by the FCA to investigate international advice firm deVere UK over pension transfers in February last year, and were used against seven discretionary fund managers between January 2016 and July 2017.

They were also used to investigate insistent client practices and pension transfers at eight IFA firms around 2015.

However, their use in the advice and pensions space appears to have waned, the latest report from the FCA shows.

Just three S166s were commissioned in the first quarter of 2018/19, two of which related to wholesale financial markets and one to retail banking.

Two were related to financial crime and one involved concerns over controls and risk management frameworks.

A total of 29 S166s were commissioned in 2017/18.

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  1. How about a S166 review on the FCA? There’s surely a mountain of evidence to justify one.

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