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Growing regulatory costs send Apcims into the red

by Annabelle Williams on Nov 20, 2012 at 07:00

Growing regulatory costs send Apcims into the red

The Association of Private Client Managers (Apcims) went into the red last year as it decided to scale up its efforts in helping managers battle EU regulation.

The trade body posted a pre-tax loss of £68,778 in the year to 31 May compared to a £99,434 profit last year, following heavy investment in a member handbook on implementing EU rules.

Revenues and cash were flat on the year and Apcims has pledged to only raise its membership fees in line with inflation.

Apcims has increasingly had to shift its focus towards working on regulation coming out of Europe.

Speaking to Wealth Manager after the trade body released its full-year results, chief executive Tim May said he felt Apcims’ most successful projects over the last year were on interpreting EU regulations.

‘We changed our focus to be as much looking at Europe as we are looking at UK regulations,’ he said.

‘That’s a big change for a group like Apcims because of the work that’s involved and it’s a benefit for our members.’

He said that the body’s focus over the next year would ‘strongly remain the EU’ but that it was also doing a ‘terrific’ amount of work on Fatca and was preparing for the follow-on from the retail distribution review and the FSA’s suitability focus.

A website will be gradually populated with information helping wealth managers navigate the EU regulation minefield.

He also said he was positive on the prospects for taking on new members – particularly since Brooks Macdonald was recently signed up – and in spite of the ever-increasing cost pressures which mean many firms will have little cash left over for Apcims membership.

‘We feel quite positive [about taking on new members],’ May said. ‘If I’m honest these things take a while particularly in a slow economic environment. I was in discussions with Brooks for over a year and then it came to a point where they in their business plans decided it was time to join.’

1 comment so far. Why not have your say?


Nov 20, 2012 at 09:30

When APCIMS was created it was designed to safeguard the interests of private client broking firms & investment managers and to a degree it has done a good job in a terrifying slow moving avalanche referred eloquenty as regulation all designed to protect investors. Unfortunately the investor protection angle has gone pretty haywire (see MF Global and a host of failures mainly mangled by excessive FSCS levies) and I doubt there are too many investors/clients out there who can see the relevance of investor protection against a backdrop of decreassing numbers of firms available to these said investors. Where APCIMS has failed (& I have much sympathy here) is showing FSA the merit of allowing new firms to be created by experienced capital markets personnel and to challenge the RDR which only benefits in the short-term certain high profile listed PCIAM's. A bun fight will ensue after 1st January and I doubt the number of its members will increase dramatically in the coming years. If APCIMS can today just ahead of RDR claim that its main challenge has been to interpret EU regulations, FATCA & all roads to nirvana then god help us all. Like CISI it would appear that APCIMS too has forgotten its raison d'etre for existence in the first place. Who or what body is protecting the stockbrokers?

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