View more on these topics

FSA outlines challenges to retail firms

Clive Briault, managing director of the Financial Services Authority has outlined the challenges facing retail firms during his first speech in Northern Ireland.

Addressing financial advisers and mortgage intermediaries at the AIFA & AMI Regional Conference in Belfast, Briault spelled out the FSA’s primary objectives for the retail distribution system, which centre on the quality of advice available to consumers and the fair treatment of consumers by firms.

The speech also gave firms an update on depolarisation; the challenges posed by A-Day – the government’s changes in pension rules; the Treating Customers Fairly initiative and the current picture of the quality of advice given by advisers.

Briault says: “I am pleased to have been given the opportunity to address firms in Northern Ireland directly; something we at the FSA are keen to do more often.

“The retail financial services market is not yet operating in a consistently effective and efficient way.

“On the mortgages side, our early findings report a mixed picture in terms of standards.

“On the investments side, the market is in a state of flux with both product providers and distributors facing a range of challenges which include adapting business strategies to reflect a depolarised world and a lack of consumer confidence.

“To tackle this we strongly believe that good quality financial advice plays an important role in ensuring that consumers have expert help in making a complex range of choices on important financial decisions.

“The provision of financial advice is a large industry, and with rising incomes and wealth, and evidence that many individuals are not investing enough for their retirement, there should be plenty of scope for the advice market to expand significantly.

“The challenge here for advisers is to demonstrate to more consumers that there is value to them in paying for these services.”

The FSA is also continuing its range of activities to make it easier to do business with.

These include a major programme of improvements to the small firms section of the FSA website; payment of the FSA, Financial Ombudsman Service and Financial Services Compensation Scheme fees and levies in instalments; a programme of geographical roadshows and the firms online system, with the new Integrated Regulatory Reporting system which enable firms to report electronically.


Rightmove sets the stage on HIPs

Rightmove’s plans for a scheme that defers payment of Home Information Pack costs until sellers complete on a property means rivals will have to fund HIPs upfront to compete, says Frank Eve

Mortgage brokers rush to put property in to pensions

Research conducted by UCB Home Loans shows that intermediaries have a strong belief in the benefits of buy-to-let, with 46% already owning buy-to-let properties themselves. Furthermore, even if they do not already own a buy-to-let property, 68% will be considering putting buy-to-let property into a Self Invested Personal Pension when this becomes possible next year.However, […]

Public don’t understand mortgages, says survey

Research has revealed the ignorance of the British public on mortgage matters, with only 19% able to name the Financial Services Authority as the industry’s regulator. And 20% think the acronym FSA stands for Funds Savings Account. The survey, conducted by Mortgages Direct, says the low level of knowledge surrounding mortgage issues could lead to […]

OFT: 60% of adverts don’t meet new advertising rules

5{leased data claiming that over 60% of adverts reviewed in its survey did not meet the credit advertising rules introduced on October 31 2004.

Andrew Hagger of says: “Whilst Moneyfacts supports the action that the OFT are…

In Focus image

In Focus — May 2015: private medical insurance market in Germany

Welcome to the latest edition of In Focus. In this issue, Jelf examines the private medical insurance market for employers with expatriate workforces in Germany. This includes the common challenges faced in sourcing appropriate coverage, along with a selection of available solutions. This will be of particular interest to HR/reward decision makers with employees based in Germany. It will assess the cultural norms, risks and backdrop that are relevant to organisations with expatriate staff in this location.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up