View more on these topics

MM leader: The insistent clients problem is all too real

Natalie Holt, journalist with Money Marketing Photo by Michael Walter/Troika

At Money Marketing’s Retirement Strategy Summit in June, one of the keynote speakers was Alex Roy from the FCA.

He is a manager in the regulator’s life, pensions and investments division and is responsible for “distribution strategy and competition.” That is one hell of a business card.

The reason I bring him up is that at the event and at the earliest possible opportunity, the conversation turned to the issue of insistent clients.

As you may have guessed, the discussion quickly became very heated as advisers pressed Roy for answers on how they were supposed to protect clients’ interests against such a vague regulatory backdrop.

The FCA’s man told delegates he was not clear what more information advisers wanted. He said: “If people are looking for ways to limit liability I’m afraid that’s not something we can do. That’s set by European law – if you’re worried about the Financial Ombudsman Service, perhaps you can talk to them.”

The regulator has since published guidance on dealing with insistent clients but advisers are less than convinced that this guidance will protect them should misselling claims materialise further down the line.

Money Marketing reports this week that advisers have begun to pass on the cost of the excess on their professional indemnity insurance straight through to clients when advising on defined benefit transfers.

This is a clear indication, if one was needed, that firms are pricing in what is deemed to be high risk advice, and looking to protect themselves as best they can.

It has been suggested in some quarters the insistent clients issue is merely hypothetical and all in advisers’ heads, but the impact on charging structures shows this is all too real.

Nor is this just an adviser problem – for some savers, they face having to choose between the lesser of two evils: paying a premium for advice to transfer on the one hand, or not getting any advice at all on the other. That does not sound like freedom and choice to me.

Natalie Holt is editor of Money Marketing. Follow her on Twitter: @Natalie_Holt_MM 



Legal lessons for advisers on duty of care

A recent judgement of the High Court (Worthing and another v Lloyds Bank plc [2015] EWHC 2836 (QB)) has provided some helpful guidance on continuing duties of care for financial advisers. The case involved a traditional client/adviser relationship, with initial investment advice being provided by the adviser followed by periodic reviews in subsequent years. The clients […]


Nic Cicutti: Freedoms are sowing the seeds of another pensions crisis

You probably won’t know this, but this year is the 30th anniversary of Money Marketing’s launch in 1985. I was reminded of the fact because earlier this week the magazine hosted a dinner in London which several of Money Marketing’s long-term contributors were invited to attend. True to form, we were invited to sing for our […]

FCA logo new 620x430.jpg

FCA launches probe into fund manager competition

The FCA has set out the key areas it will focus on in its market study into competition in the asset management industry. The regulator will assess firms on how they compete to deliver value, whether they are motivated or able to control costs as well as how investment consultants affect competition for institutional asset […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm