We are setting out our proposals for a new core investment advice regime. The aim is to allow firms to provide mass-market consumers with straightforward financial needs greater access to simplified advice on investing into mainstream products, specifically within stocks and shares ISAs (S&S ISAs).
August 2023 update
In our Consumer Investments Strategy, published in September 2021, we set out our ambition to see a consumer investment market in which consumers can invest with confidence, understanding the risks they are taking, and the regulatory protections provided. In support of this ambition, in November 2022 we set out initial proposals for a Core Investment Advice regime, seeking to broaden access to narrower-scoped financial advice.
Given the potential for more significant change that is now possible through the Advice Guidance Boundary review, and given the limited support from industry for the initial set of proposals consulted on, we have decided to roll the development of these proposals, taking onboard the feedback we received, into the broader review. This will allow us to support the more substantial changes that are being asked for and considered through the review. Find out how to provide more support to customers making investment decisions.
Why we are consulting
We want to see a consumer investment market in which consumers can invest with confidence, understanding the risks they are taking and the regulatory protections provided. We do not want to restrict consumers if they want to invest, but we do want them to be able to access and identify investments that suit their circumstances and attitude to risk. Central to this is ensuring that consumers can get the advice or support they need.
A key part of the Consumer Investments Strategy (CI Strategy) is addressing harm to mass-market consumers who may benefit from investing in line with their risk appetite, but who currently hold excess cash savings. This goal is aligned with the public commitment in Our Strategy 2022-2025 to enable consumers to help themselves and for firms to put consumers’ needs first.
Who this is for
- consumers and consumer organisations
- authorised firms that provide investment advice, including principal firms with AR networks
- authorised firms holding related permissions, eg advising on pension transfers/opt outs
- financial advisers
- investment platforms
- retail banks
- trade bodies for the investment sector
- authorised firms which communicate financial promotions relating to investment business
- accredited bodies
This consultation has now closed. See our August 2023 updated, above.
We want to make it easier for firms to provide advice that is proportionate to the needs of the consumer at a lower cost. This will help consumers who are holding large sums in cash to invest, potentially for the first time, within S&S ISAs. This is something we committed to in our CI Strategy.
We also aim to provide clarity on some common areas of concern raised by industry stakeholders, including in relation to flexibility in the suitability requirements, and whether marketing to a target audience constitutes advice.
The proposals in this CP have been informed by engagement with a range of stakeholders including the industry, our statutory panels and consumer groups over a number of years, and by feedback on our CI Strategy.