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Martin Wheatley hints at tackling indy/restricted confusion

Martin Wheatley 480
FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley

Financial Conduct Authority chief executive Martin Wheatley has hinted the regulator may look to tackle confusion over independent and restricted advice.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Wheatley said the regulator had received negative industry feedback over independent and restricted advice definitions.

He said: “We certainly had quite a lot of complaints to us, particularly from the stockbrokers, who say people know what we do and the fact we do not offer mortgages does not mean we are not independent.”

But Wheatley says typically any changes to the definitions would not take place until the post-RDR implementation review in two years time.

He admitted providing clarity at an earlier stage around how the RDR would impact the platform market, particularly the potential extension of the rebate ban to execution-only platforms, would have been “nice to have wrapped up earlier, but we could not.”

Wheatley added: “The aim is to remove bias. That is clearly what we have set out to do. It can get a bit more complex in the platform space and so we are spending a lot of time talking to the providers, trying to come out with a proportionate model that works.”

IFA Centre managing director Gill Cardy says: “If stock-brokers stick to advising on or dealing in individual shares they won’t have to worry about the definitions of independent or restricted.”

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