FCA Proposes Capital Reserves to Tackle Poor Investment Advice

FCA Capital Reserves Proposal: aiming to hold investment firms accountable for subpar advice. Consultation is open until March 2023

Home » FCA Proposes Capital Reserves to Tackle Poor Investment Advice

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) introduced revolutionary proposals requiring these firms to uphold ample capital reserves. The move aims to ensure that the firms responsible bear financial consequences from harmful advice, aligning with a “polluter pays” philosophy.

The FCA’s proposal necessitates investment advisors to assess potential redress liabilities proactively, setting aside sufficient capital to cover compensation costs. Failure to meet the required capital standards will trigger automatic asset retention rules, preventing firms from disposing of assets. Furthermore, This strategic initiative comes in response to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme disbursing nearly £760 million from 2016 to 2022, with a significant portion linked to inadequate advice from failed investment firms.

FCA Proposes Capital Reserves

Sarah Pritchard, Executive Director of Markets and International at the FCA, emphasized the importance of fostering a financially resilient financial advice market. Moreover, Pritchard expressed concern over the burden placed on diligent advisors due to the actions of their unsuccessful counterparts. The FCA actively invites feedback from industry and consumer groups during the 16-week consultation period, extending until March 2023.

The proposed measures exempt approximately 500 sole traders and unlimited partnerships from automatic asset retention rules. Furthermore, the FCA excludes firms under prudentially supervised groups with group-wide risk assessments from this requirement, designing a proportionate approach based on existing capital requirements.

In tandem with the consultation process, the FCA has intensified its actions against dormant license holders, aiming to mitigate risks associated with inactive firms misleading consumers. The report for the third quarter also revealed a thorough review and amendment of over 5,300 financial promotions, predominantly in retail investments and lending sectors, in response to stricter rules for crypto assets.

In alignment with its consumer investments strategy, the FCA’s proposals aim to enhance consumer confidence in investment firms. The regulatory body remains dedicated to a three-year strategy, prioritizing harm reduction, establishing higher standards, and fostering positive change in the financial sector. In response to the dynamic crypto market, the FCA has updated its guidance for crypto asset firms, providing a transition period for adaptation to new rules in line with those for other high-risk investments.

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