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Platform paper is put on hold again until end of year

The FSA has again delayed the publication of its consultation paper on platform regulation and now expects to finalise it before the end of the year.

The FSA published its discussion paper in March and originally planned to issue a consultation paper in the summer followed by a policy statement at the end of the year.

Speaking at a Charted Insurance Institute conference on the retail distribution review last week, FSA director of conduct policy Sheila Nicoll said: “We need to do further work on platforms. This is a complex issue and we have to balance getting rules out quickly with getting them right.

“We have taken the view that we should take our time to get things right although we do recognise the need for firms to understand what is going to be required to make system changes. We expect to clarify the position on platforms before the end of the year.”

One delegate asked Nicoll if an adviser could demonstrate that a platform was neutral in terms of its products or investments, would the FSA consider that to be a basis for providing independent advice.

She responded: “This is one of the questions we will look at in the consultation. We have already said that if advisers are calling themselves independent, the obligation is on them to satisfy themselves they can review the whole of the relevant market.

“The adviser must satisfy himself that any platform he was using enabled him to fulfil that independent obligation.”

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