FCA rules on the line between advice and non-advice prevent providers from giving good customer service, according to Old Mutual Wealth customer director Carlton Hood.
Speaking at the Tisa annual conference in London yesterday, Hood said Old Mutual customer service staff feel “frustrated” and “held back” by fears they might unintentionally stray into giving regulated advice.
He told delegates: “Our telephone staff feel held back and very constrained by layers of regulations. There is a fear that they might inadvertently give advice and they are frustrated.
“We have to be brave and help them to find ways through it. It is a difficult environment to give the service and care to customers that we want to.”
SCM Group founder Gina Miller, also speaking at the event, agreed that regulation creates difficulties for client communications.
She said: “There is a problem with regulation because as a provider you have to be really careful when you reach out to consumers, as the FCA has not made it clear what you can or cannot say.”
In July, the FCA published guidance which aimed to clarify the boundaries between advice, non-advice and simplified advice.
But experts said the guidance failed to create sufficient clarity.