Calling all wealth managers and stockbrokers – you only have two weeks left to complete the FCA’s latest Section 165 request!

If you are one of the affected firms, we are urging you not to leave submission of the 35-page survey until the March 4 deadline.

Our director, Vicky Pearce, said: “This is a complex and time-consuming questionnaire covering detailed information about firms’ pricing models, client demographics and employee renumeration. It requires data to be collated from a 12-month period, ending September 2023 and disseminated to the FCA in a prescribed format. Smaller practices who don’t have the business structures of their larger counterparts may find this a challenge.”

The FCA’s information request was issued in early December, following the publication of a Dear CEO letter to wealth managers and stockbrokers in November that set out the regulator’s intention to place the sector under closer supervision. The results of the questionnaire will be used to identify problem firms and reduce the risk of consumer harm.

Vicky added: “Whilst the implementation of Consumer Duty is not referred to directly in this Section 165 request, customer outcomes are undoubtedly the focus of the questions. The FCA believes firms are still charging for services they don’t deliver and are not providing clear disclosure on fees. Whilst it is not a price regulator, it is prepared to force the issue of fair value.

“We will await the results with interest, as we expect the key learnings to be applicable not only to wealth managers, but also to the general advice sector. In the interim, firms should be ensuring Consumer Duty is embedded in their systems and processes if they haven’t done so already.”

We are happy to assist any businesses struggling to complete the FCA’s information request by the March 4 deadline. The regulator recommends contacting its Supervision Hub with general queries about the survey or specific questions relating to particular sections. For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us or call our helpdesk on (0161) 521 8641.

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