Firms who heed the FCA’s guidance have no need to worry about the results of its thematic review into retirement income advice.

Whilst there were no groundbreaking findings in the recent publication, we are still urging you to familiarise yourself with the review and consider if any changes need to be made to your advice processes.

B-Compliant director, Vicky Pearce, said: “If you were expecting the results of the FCA’s thematic review into retirement income advice to contain ground-breaking new guidance, I hate to disappoint, but it doesn’t. The good news is, it means firms who keep up to date with regulatory changes won’t be burdened by additional compliance in the short term.”

The results of the FCA’s thematic review were published last week and are based on data collected from 977 firms who responded to its survey and 24 firms who were selected for more detailed analysis. Strong evidence of good practise was found, with 67% of the files reviewed deemed suitable.

Vicky added: “Given such small samples of firms and files were used in the review, the regulator’s comments are broad in terms of detail. The level of good practise found indicates the standards applied by the regulator appear to be attainable, however, had they been viewed through the lens of Consumer Duty, the results may have been more critical.”

The FCA’s review was conducted before Consumer Duty was implemented and therefore, firms were not measured against it, although it is referenced in the findings. Current hot topics – ongoing advice fees, periodic reviews of suitability and vulnerable clients – were also addressed.

Vicky concluded: “In general, most proactive firms will have no need to take any immediate action off the back of this review. That is not to say it won’t be the catalyst for further regulation down the line. In a nutshell, the results focus on providing suitable advice that is communicated clearly and accurately and these principles should be at the heart of what advisers already strive to deliver.”

Read more on the FCA’s findings here or take a look at our latest blog discussing the retirement income review in more detail.

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