What should ‘holistic advice’ really mean?

AMI Chief Executive Robert Sinclair discusses his interpretation of holistic advice and what it means for the industry…

Industry must protect the mental health of advisers – Robert Sinclair

We know that mental health and finances are intrinsically linked, and that’s not just when it comes to our customers…

Finalised guidance on financial promotions on social media

As part of their bid to tackle poor quality financial promotions on social media, the FCA has released their finalised social media guidance…

Your April ’24 update from AMI Chief Executive Robert Sinclair

AMI Chief Executive Robert Sinclair gives his April update, including the Mortgage Charter and AMI’s thoughts on the FCA Fees & Levies proposals…

April 2024 Latest FOS complaints – AMI comments

Latest FOS complaints that may be of interest to mortgage intermediary firms, including AMI’s comments…

FCA Consultation on Fees & Levies for 2024/25

Members may have seen that the FCA issued their annual consultation on the fees charged to firms on Tuesday 9th March – AMI comments…

Edit Content

Log in here for full access to all our great content

 

Please log in below with your username (which is your email address), using all lower-case letters.

 

Forgotten your password?
No problem, simply tell us you have forgotten your password to receive instructions instantly via email.

Having problems logging in?
If you are a current member but are unable to login, please first make sure you are using all lower-case letters for your username/email address. If you still have difficulties, please contact us via email at info@a-m-i.org.uk so we can rectify your problem.

Not a member?
Learn more about the benefits of becoming a member or apply online and we will be in touch.

I know that The Outlaw waits with a real sense of expectation for the FCA Annual Business Plan.  He sits on the highway in Stratford hoping to loot an advance copy to satiate his appetite to lambast the regulatory hierarchy.  This year he was roundly disappointed – no traffic in or out of the aptly named “Endeavour Square” (could try harder) as the FCA continue to work from home due to Covid.

The Plan, once published, took a new format and direction.  It was long on theory, rhetoric and promises of change but no detail on the what, who, where or when.  With the ghosts of the failures of London Capital and Finance, Connaught and Woodford still haunting the entity it does not bode well.  Indeed, there was a real expectation amongst regulatory specialists in legal firms, consultancies and trade bodies that we would get some meat on the bones of their Transformation Programme.  There was a mention but nothing to tell us what is happening, how it might impact firms or advisers, any milestones or when we might reach the end.

The promise of being a data led regulator sounds impressive – but what does it actually mean?  No detail on what new data would be sourced, how it might be used or how its use would have prevented the aforementioned firm failures.  With the combined costs of FCA, FOS and FSCS nudging £2bn per annum, the industry expects greater clarity.

As the FCA struggles to find its new identity under Nikhil Rathi, it is important for the mortgage sector to call out some issues.  We have a highly competitive market with relatively low levels of consumer inertia.  Not perfect but in the top quartile.  Providers and distributors work well together and consumers are well served, with good options and improving use of technology.  The lack of any apparent recognition of this is what worries the industry.  We want this FCA to be better than the previous incumbents.

In paying £19m per annum in direct FCA fees, it is very hard to see what the mortgage intermediary sector is getting for its money.  Few firms have the benefit of a direct supervisory relationship.  Firms have no concept of who the individuals are that are in the “portfolio” supervision team.  The mortgage policy team have become similarly quiet since MCD.  They have been active on prisoners and other areas but not with a very public face.  There was nothing in the plan.

The reality of the lost and stolen laptop debacle is that the FCA lost 188 laptops or tablets in 2021 whist working from home.  Rather careless.  Reality is the FCA had a policy of repairing “broken” technology that meant individuals would have to send it in without a replacement.  The only way to get a “new” item was to report it lost or stolen.  So a badly constructed policy has led to a headline that belies reality.  To firms that is a one way street on culture.

The April fees consultation added a new fee class, A22, to cover the management of appointed representatives.  We were hopeful the annual plan would provide the detail of why and what was to be done.  But again not a mention.  A new fee class created and £7.5m levied and no activity specified in the plan.

As we move to a new academic year they must try harder.

Robert Sinclair, AMI Chief Executive
August 2021

X

Forgot Password?

Join Us