The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been urged to cut the volume of disclosures required for IFAs amid concerns that consumers are facing an ‘information overload.’
In its response to the FCA’s Smarter Consumer Communications discussion paper, the Association of Professional Financial Advisers (Apfa) also welcomed the regulator’s suggestion to develop a ‘layering’ approach to rules to indicate priority, as opposed to a current regulatory environment where ‘all rules are created equal.’
The discussion paper was launched in June and is looking at how financial services firms can communicate more clearly with clients. The FCA is particularly keen to see greater clarity on fees and charges.
Chris Hannant (pictured), director general of Apfa, said: ‘We believe it is the broader regulatory environment, including the huge number of rules, combined with fear of how complaints are assessed by the ombudsman that gives rise to the lengthy paperwork clients receive.’
‘We look forward to working with the FCA, the advice community and others to improve consumer communications especially in terms of developing the FCA’s layering concept and how this may apply to suitability reports.’
‘However, to encourage advisers in practice to adopt new practices, it is important that they have confidence in the approach of the ombudsman in assessing complaints.’