'We can't push a mountain': FCA issues rallying call to advisers

Laura Miller
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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a rallying call to advisers and the wider industry to help it regulate, saying it "can't do it alone".

Speaking at an event in London today, Clive Adamson, director of supervision at the FCA, said being a reactive regulator no longer works, but that to be a proactive regulator the FCA is relying on the industry to inform it of what is going on.

"The FCA has 2,800 people with about 600 on the front line of supervision. We can't push a mountain by ourselves. We need to work with the industry."

Adamson (pictured) said the FCA is "holding out an olive branch to the industry", and doesn't want to be seen as being in "an ivory tower in Canary Wharf".

"We need your help. It's almost impossible for us to pick up problems without you. We need your intelligence."

But the FCA chief also fired a warning shot to firms, saying over the coming months the regulator will be scrutinising charging models in particular to ensure the changes brought about by the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) are being implemented.

"We want to spend more of our time looking at business models, the culture of firms. Whether they are treating customers fairly is determined by their business model and how they make money," he said.

This work will include looking at the relationship between providers and advisers, and any "inducements" that may pass through the value chain.

"We have seen some inducement packages that meet the rules but don't meet the spirit of the RDR. We will be looking at that," Adamson said.

Adamson said the regulator is also "in the early stages" of scrutinising providers' actions in relation to charges now that adviser charging has been stripped out of the product.

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