Welcome to the June edition of IFA Magazine. As regular readers are probably aware, your friendly Editor is rather partial to a song title for this column. Mind you, although this particular song isn’t exactly a favourite of mine, I feel that its title does resonate rather well with where the advice profession sits today – on the cusp of the new Consumer Duty.
With the rather lovely summer weather we’ve been enjoying of late, it’s easy to forget that one of the biggest changes to regulation for advisers for many years is just a matter of a few short weeks away.
It really is the final countdown, as advice businesses go through final checks to their processes to ensure that they’re all ready for the FCA’s Consumer Duty which takes effect from 31st July.
As you turn the pages of this magazine, you’ll find plenty of analysis and insight on the Duty from experts including as HRComply’s Neil Herbert and Compliance Consultant Tony Catt. They don’t just dwell on detail, but also offer practical tips to help keep on top of the continuing regulatory change which remains a fact of life for advisers these days.
Are you ready?
Worryingly, the latest Embark Investor Confidence Barometer has found that a significant minority (30%) of advisers surveyed admit they are not confident that they are ready for this go-live date of the Consumer Duty in July. That really is a worry. For any firms in doubt, time is short and must be used very effectively in order to ensure that all systems are compliant and fit for purpose.
In conjunction with specialist T&C and People Compliance platform, HRComply, IFA Magazine has recently carried out a reader survey in the spring to gauge advisers’ attitudes to personal compliance. You can see some of the key findings and commentary on this from page 12 – and big thanks to all of you who responded. Encouragingly, approximately 45% of IFA Magazine readers surveyed claimed their knowledge on Consumer Duty is ‘always up-to-date’, while an equal amount answered that they refresh their knowledge of consumer duty changes on a ‘semi-regular basis’. Just 9% don’t follow the latest on Consumer Duty – but admit that they ‘need to carry out further research’. Let’s just hope that this has now been done!
Platform due diligence
In case you missed it, the latest IFA Magazine Investment Platform Report, compiled in conjunction with compliance consultant, Tony Catt, is now available to readers. It’s already proving popular and you can access your copy of the report here
The business of advice
As you turn the pages of the magazine, we hope that you’ll find plenty of thought-provoking ideas, opinions, information and detail to help shape your own thinking. We’ve got updates from M&G’s Ben Lord on why he’s keen on Investment Grade Credit, there’s the second part of our Q&A with Wealth Holdings’ CEO, Keith Brown, Nick Henshaw tells us why Wesleyan has a with-profits fund with a difference and lots more too.
And finally, whatever your state of readiness for Consumer Duty, there’ll be plenty of news and views on the subject here on www.IFAMagazine.com over the following weeks so do keep an eye out.
Editor, IFA Magazine