Financial Advice Working Group Established by FCA

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced in June 2016 that it has established a Financial Advice Working Group in response to the recommendations of the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR) report published in March 2016. The aim of the FAMR has been to explore ways in which government, industry and regulators can take individual and collective steps to stimulate the development of a market to deliver affordable and accessible financial advice and guidance to everyone.

The Working Group will take forward the three recommendations assigned to it by the FAMR:

• Recommendation 12: The Working Group will work with employer groups to develop a guide to the top ten ways to support employees’ financial health, and devise a strategy for rolling this out. It will align the timing of this with the FCA and The Pensions Regulator joint factsheet for employers and trustees, which is due to be published in early 2017;
• Recommendation 17: The Working Group will publish a shortlist of potential new terms to describe “guidance” and “advice” by the third or fourth quarter of 2016;
• Recommendation 18: The Working Group will lead a task force formed of interested stakeholders to design a set of rules of thumb and nudges with the aim of increasing consumer engagement. The Working Group will consider the crucial life stages at which these nudges and rules of thumb could be delivered and complete initial testing of these by quarter one of 2017.

The Working Group may commission such research as it considers necessary in order to take forward this work. It should engage regularly with the FCA and HM Treasury and consult these organisations regarding the work it carries out. The Working Group will act as a source of ongoing expertise to the FCA and HM Treasury during implementation of the FAMR recommendations, providing background on current business practices in the financial advice market and on consumer needs.

The FCA and HM Treasury will also keep the Working Group updated on implementation progress and invite its response on consultations which arise from FAMR’s recommendations. The Working Group will report to the FCA Board and the Economic Secretary on the progress of its work after 12 months.