The incoming Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will swoop in to stamp out activities that it believes run counter to the spirit and practice of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR), according the FSA's head of investment policy.
David Geale - a former IFA - told an Association of British Insurers (ABI) event in London this morning: "If we find an issue we will act quickly."
The FCA will be carrying out some firm specific supervisory work, but also far reaching thematic investigations of a number of firms, Geale said.
"We will pay close attention to any market activity that looks like it is circumventing the rules," he warned.
The FCA will be checking that firms are not hiding advised sales as non-advised.
Other areas the FCA will focus on include clear separation of advised and non-advised sales - with evidence of controls in place - and evidence that an IFA firm is truly independent. The FCA will also be looking for proof of a clear separation between a firm's discretionary fund management (DFM) business and its advice work.
"Communication to consumers [on the separation from DFM business] will not be enough. There must be a clear separation in place," said Geale.
Where remuneration is facilitated by the advice firm the firm must have appropriate systems and controls, he said.
"We will be checking to make sure adviser facilitation is not mis-used."
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