This Policy Statement outlines the response to our consultation CP17/28: FAMR Implementation Part II and insistent clients, and announces a consultation on the retirement of guidance FG12/15 and FG14/1.
The Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR) was launched jointly by HM Treasury (HMT) and us in August 2015 to explore ways in which government, industry and regulators could take individual and collective steps to stimulate the development of a market that delivers affordable and accessible financial advice and guidance to everyone, particularly those who do not have significant wealth or income.
In its final report in March 2016, FAMR set out a series of recommendations intended to tackle the barriers to consumers accessing advice and guidance.
CP17/28 made proposals developed to implement three of those recommendations, including:
- Handbook changes arising from recent amendments to the definition of advice on investments in the Regulated Activities Order
- Guidance on personal recommendations
- Guidance arising from experiences of the FCA’s Advice Unit
We also proposed new Guidance on insistent clients designed to address concerns raised by firms.
The Policy Statement summarises the feedback we received to the consultation paper and confirms publication of final Handbook rules and Guidance which took effect on 3 January 2018.
The Advice Unit guidance has been published as part of FG17/8 Streamlined advice and consolidated guidance.
While stakeholders broadly supported the new Guidance we proposed in CP17/28 on personal recommendations, we were asked to address some further areas of uncertainty. As such we chose to take a little longer to work on these points. We have now published our final Guidance in PS18/3. Our final Guidance addresses new issues where we were asked to provide help as well as some clarifications on areas covered in the draft Guidance.
The Financial Advice Working Group (FAWG) set up following the FAMR Final Report also made a recommendation that we should work to develop plain English explanations for the terms 'advice', being regulated investment advice, and 'guidance', being any other service an organisation might provide to help consumers make their own investment decisions.
To implement this recommendation we have published a guide for consumers that explains these two terms, covering in high level terms who might offer these services, what rules apply to them, and what recourse a consumer would have if things go wrong. The guide is designed to act as a basic introduction for consumers who might be considering where to go to get help with investing.
In this PS we consulted on retiring two pieces of non-Handbook Guidance on inducements and conflicts of interest (FG14/1), and on independent and restricted advice (FG12/15).
In PS18/10: Retiring FG12/15 and FG14/1 we published our response to this consultation and confirmed the guidance has been retired.
Who this applies to
Our proposals will most directly impact on:
- firms providing advice on or distributing retail investment products and financial instruments to retail clients
- trade associations and consumer groups involved in retail investment markets
We will be reviewing the advice market as part of our review of FAMR implementation and the next phase of the post-implementation review of the Retail Distribution Review and publishing our findings in early 2020.