FCA outlines approach to 'decision tree' investment distribution models

Carmen Reichman
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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has provided what it hopes is further clarity on the boundaries of advice and information when building decision tree based investment models, following concerns about the clarity of its initial suggestions.

In final guidance published on 22 January, the FCA said it sees decision trees as tools which can deliver both 'generic advice' (information only) and 'personal recommendations' (regulated advice), depending on the questions the client is asked and the solution they are presented with. But it warned that, in certain circumstances, decision trees could result in an 'implicit' recommendation, which would be considered regulated advice. Implicit advice - as opposed to explicit, which is a recommendation of a particular product - is presenting information to the customer in a way that inf...

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