Every week we make sure that we keep up to date with the latest industry news from a variety of sources including online notifications, Money Marketing, Professional Adviser and Financial Adviser publications.
A lot of the news is really only of interest to us as financial advisers, but sometimes its worth updating some stories which might be of interest. For example, the FCA have issued further warnings to clients to be vigilant when it comes to scams. This week their own website became a target for scammers who launched a scam register. The FCA were quick to make sure that the site was taken down thank goodness. They had to act quickly after the Complaints Commissioner criticised them last year for inaccuracies in their register which were found to have contributed to fraud in one particular case!
James Coney – Money Editor of the Times and Sunday Times was quite critical of the way in which Professional Indemnity insurance (PII) costs are having a negative impact on the availability and cost of advice. Coney estimates that the minimum cost of defined benefit advice is now £4,000 as a result of the increased costs of PII and regulation on advisers. I suspect the minimum cost is a lot higher than that – but he’s right that these increased costs are genuinely preventing people from being able to afford to seek advice, especially when the ban on contingent charging comes into effect in October.
In other news, the FCA have release analysis which suggests that on average financial advice firms will face costs of £300,000 a year as a result of the new rules on defined benefit transfers. Obviously, this is based on the cost impact across the whole market – as far as we are concerned the new rules won’t have much impact on us at all because we’ve already adopted almost all the changes.
Finally, the FCA have just announced the appointment of a new chief executive Nikhil Rathi who will take up the post in October. Mr Rathi has plenty of financial services experience. He is currently chief executive of the London Stock Exchange and prior to that he worked at the Treasury Department for over 10 years.
Let’s hope he does a good job and recognises that financial advisers are a vital part of the community.