As this will be my final blog for 2016, I thought it
would be worth reflecting on what has been a truly momentous and
tumultuous year, both globally and also for the UK financial advice
2016 will be remembered as a year of unprecedented political and
economic change, underlined by the UK's decision to leave the EU
and the rise of political populism in Europe, and of course across
Against a backdrop of global uncertainty, the UK's financial
advice sector has continued to evolve into a more professional,
trusted and transparent marketplace for consumers seeking financial
advice and long-term financial planning.
You have all played your part in meeting the needs of a growing
pool of consumers who now value and demand professional financial
advice more than ever before.
Throughout the year much of our attention has been focused on
the much-anticipated outcome of the Financial Advice Market Review
(FAMR), and we have been busy responding to a series of
Being at the heart of consultation activities with the FCA and
Government, I have been heartened by their commitment to meaningful
reform within our sector. We have already seen some major decisions
made and I expect we'll see some more early in the new year.
Perhaps the most welcome revelation in 2016 was
the Government's decision to scrap its plans for a secondary
annuity market, just one week after we submitted our own input
expressing serious concerns about the potential for
poor consumer outcomes.
The FCA has also taken on board our input on FSCS funding, and
pleasingly, is now considering an overhaul of professional
indemnity insurance (PII) as part of a broadened review.
It is clear that we now have the ear of policy makers as they
contemplate important regulatory changes and this is a privileged
position to be in as we approach the new year.
Join the fight against scammers and
In what has been an eventful year, we were left with a fairly
uneventful Autumn Statement. For our sector, it was pleasing
to hear the Government would open consultation on a proposed ban on
pension cold calling, two months after PFS member Darren Cooke
launched a parliamentary petition on the matter.
The Personal Finance Society signed the petition and is also
urging you all to join the fight against scammers and fraudsters by
joining our recently launched anti-scamming campaign, which we
launched in collaboration with the FCA's ScamSmart initiative.
By adopting more innovative and sophisticated methods, these
unscrupulous operators are posing a greater threat than ever. As we
look ahead to 2017, we should all consider what we can do in the
coming year to protect the vulnerable from these financial
Uncertainty likely to linger
Finally, global uncertainty is likely to continue into 2017,
when the demand for and importance of professional financial advice
and planning is likely to reach new heights.
Congratulations and thank you for the role you are all playing
in evolving our sector as a united profession.
Have a great Christmas and a prosperous New Year!
I look forward to speaking and meeting with many of you in
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 »