Following extensive discussion with industry and consumer representatives the FSA are now proposing amendments to the regulatory requirements to deliver various changes.
The FSA aim to:
• improve the clarity with which firms describe their services to consumers;
• address the potential for adviser remuneration to distort consumer
• increase the professional standards of advisers.
The FSA are proposing changes to make it easier for consumers to distinguish between the different forms of advice on offer to them, with all investment firms clearly describing their services as either ‘independent advice’ or ‘restricted advice’ With plans to raise the minimum level of qualification for investment advisers, and to institute an overarching Code of Ethics and enhanced standards for continuing professional development the FSA are also proposing visible maintenance and enforcement of these standards through the establishment of a Professional Standards Board (and will consult separately on this in the fourth quarter of 2009).
The planned changes will take effect from the end of 2012, with the FSA currently asking from feedback from the investment market.
Set up in June 2006 the RDR (Retail Distribution Review) looks at how Investments are distributed to retail consumers in the UK. Through the review, the FSA have Identified various long-running problems that impact on the quality of advice and consumer outcomes, as well as confidence and trust, in the UK investment market
The RDR was set up with the following broad objectives:
• An industry that engages with consumers in a way that delivers more clarity for
them on products and services;
• a market which allows more consumers to have their needs and wants addressed;
• remuneration arrangements that allow competitive forces to work in favour
• standards of professionalism that inspire consumer confidence and build trust;
• an industry where firms are sufficiently viable to deliver on their longer-term
commitments and where they treat their customers fairly; and
• a regulatory framework that can support delivery of all of these aspirations and
which does not inhibit future innovation where this benefits consumers.
The Unicorn Training Group are working with our partners and subject matter experts to ensure all content is in-line with the new RDR qualification and the FSA requirements.
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