Three-quarters of financial advisers are behind with their preparations for the FCA’s new Consumer Duty which begins in July, according to a poll.
The survey found that almost three-quarters of advice firms polled were either “behind the curve” (65%) or have not started yet (8%) on their Consumer Duty preparations.
Just 27% felt they were “totally on top of the work needed” to comply with the new rules which will require all regulated firms to ensure clients receive the best outcomes at all times.
Firms must put consumers first in any decisions under the new rules.
The findings are from a straw poll carried out by Copia Capital Management, the investment solutions division of platform Novia Financial.
The poll was carried out with 74 advisers taking part in a Novia webinar on preparing for the Consumer Duty.
The webinar coincided with the launch of a free guide and template within Copia’s Consumer Duty Toolkit to help advisers complete their target market assessments.
Taking part in the webinar were Copia’s managing director Robert Vaudry, head of investments Joanne Benson and the lang cat’s consulting director Mike Barrett.
Mr Vaudry said: “We know from our conversations with advisers that many firms are still trying to understand the full implications of the Consumer Duty requirements and many feel they are some way from complying with the rules. We’re committed to helping firms navigate their responsibilities, providing practical guidance on the implementation priorities while ensuring that their investment solutions deliver the best outcomes for the firm as well as its clients.”
Mike Barrett warned advisers to take care when segmenting their advice proposition.
He said: “It’s dangerously naive to segment your advice proposition by wealth. Two people with the same level of assets could have very different requirements from their Financial Planning.
“It’s best practice to segment around need, but this needs to be done in sufficient detail to take into account that even those who share the same need from an investment point of view, for instance saving for retirement, may have different needs from a tax and Financial Planning perspective, for example, if one is employed and the other self-employed.
“Most advisers know their customers well, so this won’t be a huge shift. It is just a case of identifying and documenting these detailed target market segments, so you can then demonstrate through your research and due diligence processes how the products and services you recommend, including the platform and investment services you use, meet the needs of your target clients.”