The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has announced new rules governing the standards and
conduct of retail investment advisers.
The regulatory body – which will itself see sweeping changes this year under government reforms –
has set out strict guidelines that will govern the conduct of advisers such as Independent Financial
Advisers, wealth managers and private bankers, from 2013.
Advisers will need to hold a Statement of Professional Standing (SPS) if they want to give either fully
independent or ‘restricted’ advice from January 2013. Restricted advice covers products from a
limited range, rather than the whole market, and will have to be labelled as such so that customers
understand the restrictions.
The FSA says that the accreditation will only be granted to professional bodies that can demonstrate
act in the public interest and further the development of the profession
carry out effective verification
have appropriate systems in place and provide evidence of continuing effectiveness
cooperate with the FSA on an ongoing basis
The FSA’s director of conduct policy, Sheila Nicoll, said: “Rebuilding trust between customer and
adviser is absolutely vital for the future prosperity of the retail investment market. When advisers
open for business in January 2013, a Statement of Professional Standing will be a vital indicator for
customers that the person they are dealing with is subscribing to a code of ethics, has up-to-date
knowledge, and is appropriately qualified.”