The FCA has published a press release to announce that the Financial Advice Working Group has been established in response to the recommendations of the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR) report that was published in March 2016.

The FCA has also published the terms of reference for the Working Group.  These state the Working Group will be responsible for taking forward the following recommendations assigned to it by the FAMR:

  • Recommendation 12: the Working Group should work with employer groups to develop a guide to the top ten ways to support employees’ financial health, and devise a strategy for rolling this out.  It should align the timing of this with the FCA and Pension Regulator joint factsheet for employers and trustees, which is due to be published in early 2017.
  • Recommendation 17: the Working Group should publish a shortlist of potential new terms to describe ‘guidance’ and ‘advice’ by Q3/Q4 2016.
  • Recommendation 18: the Working Group should lead a task force formed of interested stakeholders to design a set of rules of thumb and nudges with the aim of increasing consumer engagement.  The Working Group should consider the crucial stages at which these nudges and rules of thumb could be delivered and complete initial testing of these by Q1 2017.

The Working Group may commission such research as it considers necessary in order to take forward this work.  It will also engage regularly with the FCA and HM Treasury and consult these organisations regarding the work it carries out.  The Working Group’s recommendations and publications shall not have regulatory status.

Finally, the terms of reference state that the Working Group will not be responsible for taking forward the implementation of the FAMR, for which the FCA and HM Treasury will be responsible. However, it will act as a source of ongoing expertise to the FCA and HM Treasury during implementation of the FAMR recommendations, providing background on current business practices in the financial advice market and on consumer needs. The FCA and HM Treasury will also keep the Working Group updated on implementation progress and invite its response on consultations that arise from FAMR recommendations.