The FCA has written to MPs to reassure them that upgrades to its register will make it easier for consumers to use.
Responding to recommendations from the work and pensions select committee that any suspensions should appear at the top of a firm’s register entry and search results, chief executive Andrew Bailey writes that the FCA is currently working on making the register easier to navigate and understand.
The FCA says that improvements are lined up for the summer “to make clearer when requireemnts, including suspensions, apply to an entry.”
It writes: “We will also make improvements to the search facility and make available a simpler presentation of some commonly searched information.”
Ahead of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime being rolled out to all firms later this year, the FCA had planned to only list senior managers approved by the FCA on the register, who then have the power to certify other individuals they are responsible form.
However, the FCA says it has received feedback on the value of keeping a fuller register, and will consult on how to keep a public list.
DB transfer pressure and a robo-review
In its letter to the MPs, the FCA also acknowledges that while contingent charging creates bad incentives in some cases, it wants to be careful not to remove access to advice.
Bailey writes: “We agree that contingent charging structures create conflicts of interests and we require advisers to take adequate steps to manage these conflicts.”
“We agree that there is a case to consider intervention on charging structures,” but that any action “needs to be balanced against the overall availability and cost of advice”.
The FCA also responds to MPs recommendation is should review any difference in outcomes between face-to-face and automated advice.
The regulator notes that online advice firms are “subject to the same suitability requirements” as other advisers, and confirmed that it would be including a comparison of automated advice services with in-person ones as it prepares its follow up review of advice suitability, assessing recommendations made across the market this year.