What a UK advice review says about Australia

Alex Burke,  Senior Writer,  No More Practice Education

We've discussed the Financial Conduct Authority-mandated professional standards reforms for UK advisers before, and how in some cases they caused advisers to leave the industry.

Citrus Financial managing director and principal financial adviser David Braithwaite told us last year that the amount of work involved, coupled with the fact that he didn’t do too well in school and “hated exams,” made him extremely wary about keeping up with the FCA’s new regime.

Eventually, though, he came around, put in the work, and said advisers in Australia should "go out and make the good news - get better qualified, because you’ll get better clients, develop more expertise and be able to explain complex things more simply.”

Now, the FCA is reviewing the success of those reforms, launching a Call for Input where industry stakeholders can submit feedback on how the regime has progressed.

The FCA's executive director of strategy and competition, Christopher Woolard, explained: "Millions of people look for help and support in making financial decisions every year and the aim of the RDR and FAMR was to help the market develop the right advice or guidance service consumers need to make those decisions."

He continued by noting that consumers and the market are "changing rapidly" as "technology, employment patterns and inter-generational challenges change the way consumers interact with financial services."

"As well as looking at how the market has evolved since RDR and [the Financial Advice Market Review]," he said, "it’s important that our work looks ahead to see how we ensure that this important sector works well in the future. We want the market to deliver a range of good quality, affordable advice and guidance services that meet consumer needs."

As above, the reforms did cause a number of advisers to depart the industry, but as Colonial First State's general manager - product, Kelly Power, said at a recent IMAP Adviser Roadshow in Sydney: "It was a difficult period, but more recently, advisers have been coming back into the industry and we’ve seen figures of 25% higher profitability.”

We'll keep you posted as to how the FCA review progresses.


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