In the first of a series of monthly columns for Professional Adviser, Keith Churchouse welcomes in the new year, and decade, with a run down of the regulatory changes advisers have dealt with over the past 10 years
The new decade has started. With so much political noise and media commentary in 2019, it was easy to forget that we were all about to move into a new decade.
And are you optimistic for this new era? I hope so, because there is much value to offer our clients and prospects over the next year through our varying propositions. To look forward, there can be benefit in looking back.
The decade between 2010 and the end of 2019 was momentous for many reasons, not least the amount of regulation and new acronyms that came through. It reminds me of pensions ‘A Day' and the plan for pensions ‘simplification' that then duly headed in the opposite direction.
As a financial planner, do I find this a disappointment? Quite the contrary. The complications have provided us with far more business than if the pension rules had really been simplified. As a memory jog, 2010 as a year contained Icelandic volcanoes, WikiLeaks, the Winter Olympics and a tragic earthquake in Haiti.
What other UK regulation and changes did we have to consider, and where appropriate implement, during the past decade?
The detail below is not an exhaustive list, I appreciate noting that these updates followed the financial crisis/ banking crisis that global economies suffered in the late ‘noughties'.
Each change has had a different effect on the way we go about our work, with some changing our business practices to this day. I have no doubt that readers will pick out other regulation changes and updates that had greater effects on their working practices, noting the other economic factors that affect our ever-evolving business plans.
One thing is for certain; changes to regulation will not stop, only evolve, to meet changing needs.
And will EU regulation, such as the MiFID requirements, end anytime soon? No. Have these regulations added value? The reality is that in part yes, they have, because consumers are better informed, but the process of using a hammer to crack a nut springs to mind in the amount of data that needs to be provided to meet these requirements, with additional costs being passed on to maintain profitability.
What hasn't changed as the clock ticks over into 2020 is the annual pilgrimage to locate professional indemnity (PI) insurance on ‘reasonable terms'. Anyone negotiating their position in the last 12 months will know that this has been time-consuming, juggling budgets to allow premiums to remain affordable within the balance sheet.
I know that our professional bodies have tried to address this issue and I applaud their continued work in the quest to resolve this ever-growing problem, particularly surrounding DB transfers and ongoing permissions.
However, you plan your business going forward, as an individual adviser, financial planner or business owner, remember that planning is key to success. If you don't have a business plan both personally and as a business, then prepare one, especially now.
Think forward to the eve of the next decade, December 2029, which seems a long way ahead I am sure. Ask yourself one simple question: where do you want to be then? My recommendation: find the answer soon.
Keith Churchouse is a Chartered financial planner and director at Chapters Financial
Group to meet in 2020
In the latest of his articles on the realities of the Senior Managers & Certification Regime (SM&CR), Mark Greenwood looks at the mechanics of changing roles and Senior Manager functions under the new regime now it is in place…
Advisers want a more responsive regulator
Invested with Berkeley Burke
Sent in 2015
Following December suspension
Purpose is the line that runs through financial wellbeing like the proverbial stick of Blackpool rock (or Brighton rock for those down South), writes Chris Budd, and this is particularly true when a person retires. Here, the co-founder of the Initiative...
Will require an industry-wide 'change in attitude'