FCA Announces that IFAs are to Disclose Esoteric Investment Recommendations


The FCA has recently announced that IFAs are to disclose more risky investment strategies which they have recommended to their clients

The FCA’s reforms follows its review of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS); from 2013-2016 around a third of FSCS claims were linked to the sale of esoteric investment plans by Advisers.

During the consultation The FCA did not address the proposal that Advisers selling higher-risk products were to pay more towards the money pooled in the Scheme.

However, The FCA has agreed to such reforms as adding a new section to their online reporting system, GABRIEL, for calculating risky future levies. This will come into force on 1 April 2018. Other confirmed reforms include ordering Llyod’s of London to contribute to the funding that comes from retail firms.

A full list of the reforms will be accessible when The FCA publishes its papers….

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UKEF to Help UK SME’s Access Financial Support

UK Export Finance (UKEF), on Monday 16th October 2017, announced that it has launched a new partnership with five renowned high street banks – Barclays, Llyods, HSBC, NatWest and Santander – to provide SMEs with access to millions in government-backed trade finance.

What is UKEF? 

UKEF, as part of the Department for International Trade, provides financial support to help UK companies sell to international customers.

What are the implications of this new partnership?

Now that SMEs have access UKEF-backed finance, they have greater support to access major export contracts, to access growth markets worldwide and seize international trading opportunities.

SMEs can access UKEF finance directly from their banks, even if they have reached their credit limit or if the proposed contract is considered too great a risk for the banks to take on alone. Removing the often slow process of applying separately to The Department for International Trade as well as the banks, SMEs can easily access funds within seconds where the transaction is eligible. 

Does this scheme only benefit SMEs which are selling overseas?

No! This scheme also allows SMEs which supply products directly to overseas-selling companies to qualify for UKEF finance. This helps SMEs deliver their products into new markets and, by securing contracts with renowned UK exporters, SMEs can benefit from the global demand for UK goods and services.




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The Week in Numbers – 13th January 2016

The Week in Numbers

225 – Number of Investment Advisers Santander expects to employ by the end of Marchblue news

7% – Fall in China’s CSI 300 index on Monday, triggering newly-introduced “Circuit-Breakers” that halted trading for the day

21% – Rise in mortgage approvals year-on-year in November, according to Bank of England Figures

13k – Number of new affordable homes the Government plans to build this year through directly commissioning “small and up-and-coming” building companies

£50k – Amount raised by two landlords seeking to fight Government plans to raise taxes on buy-to-let investments

105,153 – Signatures backing a campaign to ease the transition for women affected by increases in the women’s state pension age (figure correct at time of original writing)

£615m – Amount by which Government has undershot its tax avoidance revenue raising target, according to the Office for Budge Responsibility.

£4m – MAS marketing budget for 2016/17

£30.1m – Budget for “money guidance” in 2016/17, down from £34.1m in 2015/16


“I would be worried if we went back to the bad old days” – Independent pensions expert Alan Higham on the prospect of a return of commission-like charging structures.


Originally published in Money Marketing Magazine 7th January 2016

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The Week in Numbers – 14th December

The Week in Numbers

9% – Annual rise in house prices in the three months to November, down from 9.7% in October, according to Halifaxblue news

£20K – New minimum capital adequacy requirement for advice firms. It was previously £10,000.

0.3% – Expansion of Eurozone GDP in Q3 2015, compared to Q2, according to estimate by Eurostat

25% – Shares in Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank to be sold in an IPO by parent NAB. The remaining shares will go to existing investors.

15,100 – Number of new complaints relating to investments and pensions, the FOS forecasts for 2015/16

£611bn – Combined assets of M&G, Schroders and St James’s Place, which are all set to leave the Investment Association.

£600m – Expected valuation of national advice firm Towry, which is up for sale after it abandoned plans to float on the stock market.

6 – Number of months by which the Government has extended the Lloyds share sale. The Treasury will sell shares to institutional investors until 30th June 2016, subsequently opening up to retail investors.

“I find it hard to believe everybody who is acquired is moving to a place that is better than where they were” – Gbi2 managing director Graham Bentley on suitability concerns in the advice consolidation market.


Originally published in Money Marketing Magazine 10th December 2015

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