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FSA says that advisers are locked in spiral of decline

The FSA says advisers could be caught in a “spiral of decline” because of falling revenues and increasing oper- ating costs.

In a paper charting the risks posed to the financial serv- ices sector, the FSA admits that the burden of regulation it imposes, including depol- arisation changes and the treating customers fairly initiative, is partly responsible for the problems being faced by advisers.

It says that some advisers and asset managers are struggling with growing operational costs, increased regulation and consumers’ lack of confidence in long-term saving products and the industry as a whole.

It adds many firms do not have the money or know- how to invest in technology to streamline their business and increase productivity.

The paper highlights the extra pressure that regulation such as depolarisation and treating customers fairly is placing on advisers to manage their legal and operational risks.

It says that firms need to ensure customers are aware of the implications of A-Day.

The FSA also says that firms, whether affected dir- ectly or indirectly, need to prepare for the EU’s markets in financial instruments dir- ective, which is set to come into force next year.

But the regulator says many advisers have been fairly res-ilient. Key trends have been market consolidation, with continued M&A activity, and the restructuring of networks for mortgage intermediaries.

The paper says: “There is a risk that the sector could get caught in a spiral of decline, with falling reven- ues, increasing costs of conducting business, increasing competition from banks and a lack of investment in low-growth firms, leading to significant structural change in the sector over the next three to five years.”


Regulator checking mortgage disclosure

The FSA will conduct further work this year to ensure mortgage providers provide relevant disclosure documents and has warned them they could be accused of mis-selling if they fail to do so.

Civil engineering

The Civil Partnership Act gives new rights to couples, prompting a review of their financial affairs

Nvesta buys Eurolife voting shares to boost resale value

Nvesta is to distance itself further from parent company Eurolife by buying all its voting shares in a move aimed at raising its resale value. Nvesta’s management and a consortium of third parties will pay 300,000 in a deal that will leave management with 51 per cent of voting rights and control over the business. […]

US firm Dalbar moving into UK with stress-test service

An American firm specialising in stress-testing life and pension products is lining up a move into the UK. Boston-based Dalbar is set to expand into Europe, with Syndaxi managing director Robert Reid co-ordinating its approaches to life offices. Dalbar will start its first survey this month and is inviting major providers to take part. Firms […]

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Jelf Employee Benefits assesses the areas that employers should be aware of when considering operating in Sierra Leone, including healthcare access, delivery and insurance provisions. This report draws on various sources to highlight specific considerations for this emerging jewel in West Africa.


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