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FAMR recommendations not revolutionary


David Kenmir (pictured), financial services risk and regulation partner at PwC, comments in response to the FCA's recommendations from the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR)…

The Treasury and FCA have jointly been looking at whether changes should be introduced to help customers access financial advice and support more easily and cheaply.

Today's recommendations aren't revolutionary – and that's probably a good thing. Instead, the review has suggested a series of subtle changes that, taken together, could help nascent guidance and advice service models to flourish.

The changes that stand out include a simpler, narrower definition of regulated advice, more guidance for firms on advice and guidance, and an extension of the FCA's "innovation hub" focused on robo-advice and similar models. There is no unwinding of the Retail Distribution Review and rumours the review would scrap the commission ban were false. The review has also rejected the idea of a 15 year "long stop", meaning customers can seek compensation from firms for poor advice however long ago they received that advice.

At this stage, they're all just recommendations. We'll need to see how exactly the government and FCA take this forward. But the signs are positive and I'd expect to see more "robo-advice" and other innovative services really begin to take hold over the coming year.

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