The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has admitted it has ‘much to prove’ to the advisory industry, but hopes its actions and approach in the future will indeed show it is different from previous regulators.
In an end-of-year message to advisers, given exclusively to IFAonline.co.uk, the FCA said: “We recognise we have much to prove to the industry, but we are listening to you and hopefully you will see that we are different.
“We heard about your concerns about reporting, and we are working hard to make it as simple as possible.”
“On unauthorised businesses and individuals, we are taking action to protect consumers and support those legitimate advisers who protect their customers.”
The FCA also said it believes the market is ‘settling’ following the introduction of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) at the end of last year, and it welcomed recent figures suggesting advisory firms are seeing an upswing in revenues.
“Since January, adviser numbers are up and we haven’t witnessed the huge fall that many predicted. We’re pleased that recently-published statistics show advisers have, on average, seen revenue growth in 2013.”
According to figures published by the FCA in August, there were some 21,684 ‘financial advisers’ operating in the UK at the end of July. This was up from the 20,453 recorded at the end of last year, when the RDR was introduced.
However, there were figures published in April, that suggested there has been a significant net fall in adviser numbers since the end of 2011.
“We will continue to look at what effect the RDR has had,” said the FCA. “Early next year we’ll update on the overall number of advisers and publish the second stage of our review into disclosure and charging.
“We have also committed to a full post-implementation review, which will look at all the consequences, intended and otherwise, of RDR.”