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Problems outweigh benefits

I have to say that the idea of limited advice seems to me to be an all but guaranteed recipe for creating a great deal of problems for everyone that will far outweigh any benefits.

Why would any adviser who is genuinely seeking to provide a comprehensive and professional financial planning service have any interest in a dumbed-down process that will effectively constitute little more than a short cut to a product sale?

The “abridged” edition of the FSA conduct of business rulebook is reportedly 1,000 pages, one-tenth of the full super-sized War and Peace version (which, in all probability, is read or even referred to by hardly anybody, it is just another exercise in totally impractical overkill bureaucracy).

Who and how will anyone define the boundaries of limited advice when the FSA has up its sleeve the handy catch-all of TCF? The two represent an impossible conflict. Any defence of limited advice can simply be overruled by what the FSA will decree that the adviser should have done.

The adviser will have to get so many signed declarations from the client that she/he was adamant about receiving advice on just one narrowly focused aspect of financial planning that it will probably be better just to complete a full fact-find and confirm in the letter of recommendation that certain (other) areas of potential need were identified but that the client did not wish to pursue them.

Julian Stevens
Partner
WDS IFAs, Bristol

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