Regulatory change continues apace. These changes may be driven by changes in legislation here in the UK, in Europe or as a result of regulatory supervision where weaknesses or potential risks have been identified.
Note re the UK's EU exit: as confirmed by the FCA, the UK is obliged to enforce EU regulations for as long as we remain a member of the EU. The FCA has confirmed it will keep all proposals and policy under review to take account of changes needed around the UK’s exit from the EU.
In this section we highlight key areas of interest, for example regulatory consultations, thematic reviews, discussion papers as well as policy statements. Not every paper issued by the FCA is covered, instead we will focus on those areas likely to have the greatest impact across the firms that we work with. We may also include guidance on forthcoming new requirements to assist you in reviewing current processes. Note that guidance on current regulatory requirements can be found under the relevant sections of Business, Client or Investment Management.
|1 October 2020
||Pension transfer advice
New rules and guidance come into force, including:
- A ban on contingent charging structures for advice on pension transfers and conversions (charging arrangements where adviser charges are only payable where a transfer or conversion takes place) except in specific circumstances where a consumer is more likely to benefit from advice and maybe unable to afford non-contingent advice charges.
- The introduction of an 'abridged advice service' to allow firms to provide a low cost alternative to full advice.
- Requiring firms to consider an available workplace pension as a receiving scheme and to demonstrate why any scheme they recommend is more suitable than the default arrangement in that scheme.
- Improving how initial charges are disclosed, requiring firms to provide a one-page summary with the relevant suitability report and requiring checks on clients' understanding as part of the advice process.
- The introduction of CPD requirements for pension transfer specialist (PTSs) specific to pension transfer advice.
- New data requirements being introduced to provide data on PTS advice & PII.
- Amending a number of technical areas of its rules and guidance to clarify and extend existing requirements.
|1 February 2021
||Making platform transfers simpler
Following the Investment Platforms Market Study, new rules will come into force on 1 February 2021 and will require platforms to:
- Give investors the choice to transfer units in funds common to both platforms via an in-specie transfer.
- Request a conversion of unit classes, where this is needed to allow the in-specie transfer to take place.
- Make sure customers moving onto a new platform are given an option to convert to discounted units, where these are available for them to invest in.
|31 March 2021
SM&CR: the transitional period for providing Conduct Rules training to relevant staff (other than senior managers and certification staff) ends.
|31 March 2021
Directory information reported by FCA sols regulated firms will be made public.
|31 July 2021
||Publishing and disclosing costs and charges information to workplace pension scheme members
New requirements came into force on 1 April 2020 to require workplace pension governance bodies to disclose administrative charges and transaction cost information to members on an ongoing basis.
Transitional provisions are in place for the first year (1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020), resulting in scheme governance bodies only having to report costs and charges information for default options/funds, with a deadline for publication of 31 July 2021.
|1 October 2021
||Improving the quality of pension transfer advice
||If you use or employ a pension transfer specialist (PTS) and they don't already hold a level 4 investment advice qualification, they must obtain one no later than 1 October 2021 to continue to perform the PTS role.