The Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA") has recently launched its Advice Unit, part of Project Innovate. This has come out of a recommendation made by the Financial Advice Market Review and is designed to provide regulatory feedback to firms developing automated advice models that seek to deliver lower cost advice to consumers (particularly those who are currently unserved or underserved). The focus will be on models which look to serve the gaps in the current market identified by the Review – investments, pensions, and protection. Firms could apply until 1 July to have their models considered and will find out in August whether they have been successful.
Christopher Woolard, FCA director of Strategy and Competition, said that once the FCA has taken a few firms through the new automated advice unit it will share the lessons learned in the form of tools and resources, which will be publicly available to the whole industry.
The FCA has reported that since Project Innovate was launched, it has had over 500 requests for support and offered direct support to over 250 firms who presented genuinely innovative ideas likely to have customer benefit.
A press release from the FCA about the Advice Unit can be accessed here.