FCA has published its thematic review of the research and due diligence processes carried out by advisory firms on the products and services they recommend to retail clients. FCA visited 13 firms and found that firms could generally demonstrate some good practice on the work done to better understand the quality of the products and services they recommend. However, many firms did not show consistently good practice across all products and services and there is room for further improvement. FCA was pleased to find several firms had a corporate culture of challenge, but was disappointed that some firms did not have such a culture, and did not properly manage conflicts of interest between their clients’ interests and themselves. It was particularly concerned that many firms showed inconsistent and insufficient research and due diligence in platform selection. As a result, FCA instructed three firms to improve their research and due diligence process and to make an attestation that they had done so, signed by a senior individual. One firm now needs to carry out a past business review. FCA will publish a second consultation paper on the implementation of MiFID 2 later in 2016. This is expected to include requirements in relation to research on products and services. (Source: FCA reports on product research and due diligence)