The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is reluctant to provide further guidance on key advisory issues on which it has already offered direction, suggesting it would not be helpful.
FCA technical director Rory Percival (pictured) said the regulator is often asked to give extra guidance as firms look for "regulatory certainty", but doesn't think being "prescriptive" is the right approach.
Previous attempts to provide detailed guidance, such as on charges disclosure, showed some unsatisfactory results, he added.
Percival was speaking this week at the annual conference of the Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance.
We are more focused on ensuring that that the advisers are suitably qualified, professionally trained, and act in a professional manner
He said: "Every event I speak at I get asked as a regulator for more guidance.
"[But] Martin Wheatley has said that, actually, this is not necessarily the right way forward. We did the inducements guidance earlier this year and we've had requests for more guidance on the same chapter since.
"People are looking for regulatory certainty and I think just providing more and more guidance is perhaps not the right way to go.
"We are more focused on ensuring that advisers are suitably qualified, professionally trained, and act in a professional manner.
"We are supporting and encouraging that approach such that they can do the right things for their clients, rather than becoming more and more prescriptive about what boxes the advisers need to tick."
At another event on 17 November organised by ICAEW, Percival told delegates the outcome of its more "prescriptive" work on adviser charging disclosure had later revealed some advisers were still not getting it right.
"Sometimes I get asked 'why don't you just tell us what to do and we'll do it'," he said.
"Well in which case I have been pointing to the adviser charging disclosure requirements, which are very precise about exactly what advisers have to do in terms of disclosing their adviser charging and how to do it.
"There is a real philosophical question about whether further guidance actually is effective."
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