FCA on advice and Labour on pensions: the week in news

Now we’ve all returned to work after the summer – which seems a long time ago now – our leaders have decided to take more time off, with Labour visiting the seaside and our Prime Minister in Florence.

For those of us who have had their noses to the grindstone this week, here’s the week in news.

1) Guidance on advice

The Financial Conduct Authority has published guidance on how to deliver streamlined advice, and the result doesn’t seem very…streamlined.

To offer streamlined advice, advisers will need to pick a target market for the service and go through the products they offer to find out which ones would be suitable for this process. They will also have to triage all their clients.

It has also agreed to allow clients to bring their fact finds from a previous adviser and give it to a new one to form the basis of fresh advice.

But the new firm will need suitable arrangements in place to confirm the accuracy of the data before relying on “portable” fact finds.

2) To the left, to the left

Comrades in the Labour Party have been gathering in Brighton this week to discuss the upcoming revolution.

In between their discussions about nationalising everything from the railways to Specsavers, they managed to give some thought to pension policy.

Labour shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams announced plans for women born in the 1950s to access a reduced state pension at the age of 64.

The proposal is described by the Labour party as cost neutral in the long run and Ms Abrahams said the change should be made immediately.    

The 1995 Pensions Act increased women’s state pension age from 60 to age 66 to bring it in line with men but campaigners said some women have lost out.

Meanwhile shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell pledged to “transform the financial system” by reconnecting the financial sector to the economy of research, development and production.

3) What happens in Newport, stays in Newport

Hundreds of advisers descended on Newport this week for three days of drizzle, debauchery and CDP.

The Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments held is annual financial planning conference which discussed issues including robo-advice, growing your firm and investing in the current political climate.

Vanguard’s Ankul Daga told the conference that advisers who adjust their clients’ portfolios because of political events are taking wagers on things they cannot control.

He said advisers should worry about things they can control, such as the diversification of the portfolio, particularly on a global basis.

Meanwhile Brett Davidson said advisers could grow their businesses by 15 per cent a year but they had to make constant changes to their firm’s structure.

Advisers were also warned they face a “cliff edge” unless they engage with robo-advice.

4) Tenet v Adviser: the rematch

Terminator, Rocky, The Godfather. All the best stories have sequels and Tenet has obviously taken a leaf out of this book.

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