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UK advisers fail cost disclosure test

The British corporate regulator has revealed that 73 per cent of financial advice firms have failed to comply with new requirements for disclosing and explaining financial advice costs.

Having undertaken a major review of compliance with the FOFA-like Retail Distribution Review (RDR) reforms, the Financial Conduct Authority has ruled that “too many advisory firms are not being clear with consumers on how much advice costs, the type of service they offer (whether it is restricted and the nature of the restriction) and what ongoing services they provide”.

The findings came as a part of the second of a three-cycle assessment of RDR implementation progress, with the first cycle, published in July 2013, finding “examples of good and poor practice” and a “general willingness to adapt to new rules”.

“However, in the latest research, despite sufficient time and the straightforward nature of the requirements, issues remain,” said an FCA statement.

FCA director of supervision Clive Adamson described the latest research as “disappointing”, arguing that while there has been “a lot of positive progress”, there are still large numbers of advisers not complying.

Non-compliance among “wealth managers and private banks” was found to be higher than among other firms, such as independent financial advisers.