18 February 2016

Alan Hughes: The price to pay for cultural change in financial services

The Treasury is to extend the Senior Managers and Certification Regime currently being applied to banks, insurers and a limited range of other complex firms, across the remainder of the regulated sector. This will not happen until 2018 and, as yet, there is no further detail on how it will be applied. However, there is […]

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Catriona Standingford: Is there room for more exam options?

We often get potential candidates contacting us to ask about the different exam and qualification options on offer from the various examining bodies. It is clear there already exists some level of confusion about the “best” (easiest? cheapest? most desirable?) path to take to Level 4. With this in mind, I will look at the […]

Chris Davies: Five steps to future-proofing your business

It has been raining regulation for some time now and with that comes consequences – both intended and not so much. The Financial Advice Market Review is testament to a gaping unintended consequence of the RDR and we have plenty more waiting to clobber unassuming and unprepared businesses as we move into the new “professional” […]

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Paul Kennedy: Navigating pension input periods ahead of tax year end

As the tax year end approaches, conversations will focus on whether and what to contribute to a pension before 5 April. This year has special rules for calculating the annual allowance and some added factors to be considered before using or carrying forward any unused allowances. All pension input periods are to be compulsorily aligned […]

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Mel Kenny: The advice challenges of relentless Govt attacks on pensions

On being explained the solution to a present-day pension problem I overheard a colleague reply: “why does the Government make it so complicated?” Quite. But it is good news for us really because if we find it tough going, our target market certainly will. After all, they want to get on with living life and it […]

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Gregg McClymont: Why are savers reluctant to pay for advice?

I have no idea what financial advice is like in Northern Germany but as the Financial Advice Market Review rumbles towards a close this side of the North Sea, one is increasingly reminded of Lord Palmerston’s famous aphorism: “The Schleswig-Holstein question is so complicated, only three men in Europe have ever understood it. One was Prince […]

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What to expect from the great platform assets shift

Unprecedented levels of platform assets are moving from proprietary back-end systems to outsourced solutions. This is important for advisers. There is concern about potential pitfalls during technology changes and the resulting concentration of assets on outsourced providers. A massive £136bn of platform assets are moving technology provider in the next 18 months. This represents unprecedented […]

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Are retirement advice fee models ‘broken’?

Advisers are split over claims the charging models adopted by the majority of firms are “broken”. A wide-ranging study, produced jointly by consultancies CWC Research and The Lang Cat, found while the proportion of advisers charging flat fees has risen from 1 per cent two years ago to about 10 per cent today, most still […]