FCA begins financial advice market review

The UK's financial services regulator is reviewing the state of the financial advice market to determine how well it is delivering on consumer outcomes.

The Financial Conduct Authority is requesting feedback on its two major initiatives that sought to improve the distribution of retail financial services products.

Its first initiative, called the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) took effect in 2012, aiming to raise advisers' minimum qualifications levels, change the disclosure of charges and services to consumers, and ban the use of commissions to pay for advice.

The second initiative, the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR), was launched in 2015 amid concerns the market for financial advice in the UK was not working well for all consumers.

It sought to explore how the UK government, industry and regulators could stimulate the market for universal affordable and accessible financial advice and guidance.

The review will consider whether these initiatives have been successful in achieving their objectives and look at what consumers want from the market and how the market delivers. It will also consider how new market trends and developments might affect the future development of advice.

FCA executive director of strategy and competition Christopher Woolard said consumers and the market are changing rapidly, as technology, employment patterns and inter-generational challenges change the way consumers interact with financial services.

"As well as looking at how the market has evolved since RDR and FAMR, it's important that our work looks ahead to see how we ensure that this important sector works well in the future.

"We want the market to deliver a range of good quality, affordable advice and guidance services that meet consumer needs," he said.

The regulator is seeking initial feedback until 3 June 2019. It will host stakeholder events, collect consumer data and survey a number of firms in the process.

The FCA anticipates its final report will be published in 2020.

Read more: FCAFinancial Advice Market ReviewChristopher WoolardFinancial Conduct Authority
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