Financial Advice or Financial Information?
Regulation is essential in the financial services sector. Not only does it help you ensure that you are receiving financial advice from a professional with a minimum level of expertise, it also enables you to have confidence that you are dealing with someone who is legitimate, rather than a fraudster
Sadly, the cases in which people have lost their money are proof positive that some people are not what they seem.
Regulation is crucial because it provides a framework for outlining the kind of services and advice you might receive; bringing a level of consistency, predictability and reliability to the financial services sector.
A question of clarity
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently expressed concern that even some regulated advisers may not always be clear about whether they are offering information or advice.
On June 25, Andrew Bailey, the Financial Conduct Authority's chief executive, told the Treasury select committee that following the recent suspension of the Woodford Equity Income fund the organisation was looking at the possibility of expanding its scope to examine situations in which advisers are not transparent about whether they are providing information or advice.
Furthermore, Mr Bailey expressed his belief that regulatory enforcement should look to transition from a rules-based system to one based on principles, as this would move both the FCA and its accredited firms away from a "tick-box" culture.*
Information or advice
Different regulator rules apply to firms depending on whether they are licensed to give advice or information. However, some firms are effectively burrowing their way through regulatory loopholes by appearing to give advice when they are in fact only licensed to give information.
The Personal Finance Society's Keith Richards believes that the issue needs addressing. "It cannot be right that regulated professionals who do perform to high professional standards should be tainted by the activities of firms that do not behave in an ethical way, and who, in addition, do not contribute to the cost of compensation and regulatory supervision," he said.*
Blacktower Financial Management – a firm you can trust
When you are a client of Blacktower Financial Management you can have every confidence that we are putting your interests first.
Our extensive regulation and licenses mean that we have the flexibility to act for you in many capacities. For example, under the Insurance Distribution Directive we have permission to recommend ‘Wrappers' and provide Investment Advice on the underlying Portfolios.
Under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MIFID) we are authorised to provide Investment Advice on Collective Investments.
Under the Product Governance Committee we are obliged to conduct ongoing due diligence on all the providers we work with to ensure that they remain suitable to our target market and all the ‘Retail Solutions' we are able to provide.
When assisting clients looking to transfer from a Defined Benefits Occupational Pension Scheme (or any UK based pension which has Guaranteed Benefits) we only ever introduce clients to a UK FCA-regulated Pension Transfer Specialist who meets the (PFS Accredited) UK FCA Pension Transfer Specialist Gold Standard.
Furthermore, when giving advice relating to Malta Based Pensions/ROPS, we have MIFID accreditation so are fully regulated to act in this regard.
Whether you would like to consider the possibility of an expat retirement transfer or are looking for some other form of expat financial advice, contact your local Blacktower Financial Management office today.
* https://www.ftadviser.com/investments/2019/06/26/pfs-calls-for-advice-loopholes-to-be-fixed/?utm_campaign=FTAdviser+news&utm_source=emailCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content= Accessed 28-06-19