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Backstage with Keith Richards

11th August 2016


Together with practitioner members of the Personal Finance Society Board, I recently met with the FCA as part of a 'smarter communications and suitability report meeting. We, together with FOS, APFA and Compliance specialists focused on how overcomplicated suitability reports, which are proving ineffective from a consumer perspective, and overly bureaucratic for advisers, could be streamlined to improve clarity.

There is a clear recognition from the Regulator of the issues and a willingness to work with the sector to achieve a workable solution. Although it is often easier to continually add content it is more difficult to determine what can be taken away in order to improve understanding without increasing risk in the event of a complaint. I am confident however that progress is being made.

As part of our increasing focus on good practice guidance for members we, and our practitioner panel, have been working alongside impartial experts, Diminimis, to help streamline the process for advisers when conducting due diligence on discretionary investment managers. Last week we met with the FCA to review some of the challenges that were identified during the initial stages of drafting standardised question sets, and in particular sought to clarify ambiguity around relationships and responsibilities. Again, the FCA was keen to cooperate to bring greater clarity and we will be providing further guidance to members soon as part of our good practice hub.

This week I also attended an Asset Managers Thinktank. Asset Managers have come under greater scrutiny from the Regulator and Consumer Groups recently in relation to opaque charging structures and there was a recognition that consistency was needed with the advisory profession. It was good to meet senior representatives from the fund management world who were committed to working collaboratively as part of a more united profession rather than a fragmented industry.

Best wishes,



About the Blog

In this blog Personal Finance Society CEO Keith Richards will be keeping you up-to-date with all the Personal Finance Society news, projects and initiatives that we have in the works.

Read past editions of the blog »