The FCA has published a report on the findings from its thematic review on adviser charging and services in the retail investment advice market. The FCA has also published two further reports setting out the results of qualitative and quantitative consumer research.
Overall the thematic review provided evidence of increasing professionalism of the financial advice sector. The FCA found a material improvement in the way firms disclose to clients the cost of their advice, the scope of their services and the nature of their services. However, the FCA also found scope for further improvement, particularly regarding the way that costs, in cash terms, of ongoing services is disclosed. Furthermore the thematic review suggested that some consumers have limited awareness of the fees they are paying for ongoing services. Firms should therefore be more confident about communicating such charges to clients and consider how effectively the information is understood.
The FCA encourages all firms involved in the delivery of advisory services to review the material published and consider the implications for their own business models.
View Thematic Review 14/12: Retail investment advice: Adviser charging and services, 16 December 2014
View NMG’s Retail investment advice assessment of ongoing services – a research report, 16 December 2014