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AMI secures significant win for the protection industry

AMI secures significant win for the protection industry

We are delighted that the FCA has accepted our argument that the protection industry should be out of scope of the Advice Guidance Boundary Review (AGBR) in its latest fees and levies policy statement.

Although outside AMI’s normal remit, we have been closely monitoring the AGBR review since its inception, due to concerns about scope creep and the risk that this initiative could negatively impact on mortgage and protection intermediaries.

This vigilance has paid off, as the FCA noted we were the only respondent to pick up on this issue.

This is a significant victory for AMI and our member firms. If implemented in the protection market, early proposals to come out of the AGBR initiative could have facilitated more automated transactions and non-advised sales – to the detriment of regulated intermediaries and consumers alike.

We argued that:
  • Protection products are traditionally grouped with General Insurance, which is out of scope of the AGBR.
  • The impact on the protection industry has been too vague in discussion papers issued to date, and there have been no formal consultations.
  • While investment and pension trade bodies have been involved in roundtable meetings on this subject, AMI as the mortgage trade body has not been included.
  • Given that mortgage advisers are the largest single source of protection sales, this was a significant oversight.
  • Firms cannot be expected to fund an initiative without sufficient information and opportunity to challenge and debate its implementation.

FCA response:

“We have considered this feedback and have amended our cost recovery to remove fee-block A.19 from funding the AGBR exceptional project, as we agree that General Insurance is out of scope of this project.

The AGBR is focused on the provision of investment advice, both accumulation and decumulation, and aims to create a system that ensures consumers get the help they want, when they need it and at a cost that is affordable.”

AMI comments:

This move not only removes a financial burden from firms carrying permissions to give protection advice, but it also clarifies that the A.19 fee block and the protection industry are not the intended targets of this work.

For any queries, please contact info@a-m-i.org.uk.

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