IFAs should wear "neutral" colours in client meetings to reflect their independent status, the FSA proposes.
Buried in last week's Policy Statement on adviser charging, the regulator says colours including ivory, black, grey, and white could help avoid customer "confusion" about the status of the adviser they are dealing with.
Restricted advisers should wear mostly red to "warn" consumers of their limited market reach while multi-tied practitioners - who will also be called 'restricted' from 1 January 2013 - should "mix and match".
The FSA says if it presses ahead with the rule it may conduct mystery shopping exercises to ensure advisers are complying.
Guidance on clothing may be necessary, the regulator adds, because it remains unconvinced restricted advisers will properly disclose their limitations to potential clients.
As part of its Policy Statement, the regulator opted against mandating the wording restricted firms will need to use when orally explaining their proposition.
The paper reads: "Some stakeholders suggested the idea as an additional way to help consumers better understand the service they are being offered.
"If we go ahead with this rule, we will look to conduct some mystery shopping exercises to monitor the extent to which it is being complied with."
IFA Owen Cash says the idea has legs: "I have been on at the FSA and AIFA (Association of IFAs) for years about this.
"Tied advisers should not be able to wear whites, for example, because their service is anything but.
"If it were up to me, all restricted advisers would be forced to wear a cap bearing the initials ‘RA' - restricted advice - whenever face-to-face with a client. And even maybe when they are on the phone."
Nick Cann, CEO of the Institute of Financial Planning (IFP), adds: "We do think this is going a bit far, but I'm not ashamed to admit we actually suggest our members wear a blue shirt with a yellow tie to make them [clients] think of a summer's day.
"It's worth six CPD points."
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