Independent financial advice: using internal specialists

In our discussions with industry some have suggested that the use of specialist advisers within a firm could improve client outcomes and is possible within our rules. Some have argued that advisers may, often routinely, refer their clients to a colleague with particular expertise or experience, such as income drawdown.

Having looked at these points, we agree that this wider interpretation is possible under the existing rules. In line with guidance published in 2012 (FG12/15) firms can use internal specialists if they have appropriate systems and controls in place to ensure that personal recommendations provided by their advisers meet the required standard.

We have now updated our website and the recent thematic review to make this clear.

Firms wishing to know more should refer to guidance the Financial Services Authority issued in 2012.