Advisers who use a single investment platform for all their business can still be independent and the regulator's stance on the issue has not changed, according to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
FCA technical specialist Rory Percival (pictured) said he wanted to "bust the myth" that the regulator had changed its mind on independence when using one platform.
He said while the issue was flagged in the watchdog's thematic review findings earlier this year it was on a very specific case. Percival added the FCA would always judge independence on a case by case basis.
"[In the highlighted case] 98% of business was going to a single platform, the firm was disclosing to clients that that particular platform was the approach they used. They were predetermining the likely course they would take, we felt that was restrictive.
"Some people have indicated they feel it was a change of approach. There has not been a position change, I want to emphasise that."
Elsewhere, Percival said advisers could and should do more to make disclosure documentation engaging for clients.
He admitted that much of the required paperwork is often not read and clients are more likely to engage with advisers face-to-face but pointed to layout and design as a means of increasing engagement.
Delegates heard simple changes to the way information is laid out in documents can massively help clients understand charges better.
He added firms should put all their charges online as best practice for disclosure.
"Martin Wheatley has been talking a lot about how the focus should be on advisers doing the right thing not just being compliant for the sake of keeping the regulator happy," added Percival.
Joined as head of strategy, multi asset, in June
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