The publication of the Brexit white paper last week suggested the government envisages continued co-operation with the EU on financial services regulation. But how do advisers see their sector post-Brexit? We asked three for their views ...
On 2 February, after two days of debate, the majority of the UK parliament voted to allow prime minister Theresa May to begin Brexit talks, with MPs supporting the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill by 498 votes to 114.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has not wavered from its 'business as usual' line adopted in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote and is still looking to adopt certain elements from the EU's second Markets in Financial Instruments Directives (MiFID II).
As negotiations with the EU loom ever larger, Professional Adviser invited three advisers to explain what regulatory changes, if any, they would like to see in a post-Brexit world.
'FCA will continue to add layer upon layer'
Lamb and Associates Lifestyle Financial Planning IFA Bill Marshall: "Recording telephone conversations is driven by Europe and the FCA picked up on it. While I understand the logic of it, if you're going to record telephone conversations, you should record meetings with clients as well.
"My view is we should either do it properly or not at all. I'm not a massive fan of it because while I can see how it could help protect an adviser, it may not necessarily help clients. After all, you can have a three-hour face-to-face unrecorded meeting with a client and a ten-minute telephone conversation that is recorded - it doesn't make sense.
"One good thing, possibly, about Brexit is we are no longer going to get European directives that we then go on to embellish - which I think is what the UK does. The French ignore stuff they don't like; we take everything and add to it.
"However, to justify its existence, the FCA will continue to regulate and continue to add layer upon layer after reviewing particular things so, in the end, I'm not convinced Brexit will make a massive difference."
'Policy based on British law, principles and customs'
Values to Vision Financial Planning IFA and former UKIP parliamentary candidate Nick Lincoln: "As a very broad answer, I'd like less regulation. I suppose the one thing that riles most advisers is the funding of the FSCS levy and, while I'm not sure that has anything to do with membership of the EU, it does need reforming.
"As things stand, the FCA is doing what it can but we're all in limbo. Technically we're still in the EU so we're still bound by MIFID and all these other things.
"Ultimately, we should set our own policy based on British law, British principles and British customs. We have a different mentality to trade, commerce and markets than Europeans do, and I don't think a 'one size fits all' regulatory regime coming from Brussels is something that sits well with us.
"In the short term, it's going to be messy, but in the long term it's going to be very good. All the FCA can do is not rush into anything and see how the land lies."
'More meat on the bones of regulation'
Seer Green investment and mortgage adviser Matthew Bird: "Since Brexit, I don't think anything has really changed to impact advice - not yet anyway. After the Retail Distribution Review, the regime massively changed and all those changes were for the better really.
"So, as an industry, we are in a much better place than we were. Advice generally has improved a lot as a consequence of upgrading the qualification requirements needed and removing the commission on investment-related products. That's made a world of difference.
"Still, this did cause a few problems - for example, in a lot of circumstances, it's no longer financially viable for us to service clients with less than, say, £25,000 or £30,000 to invest. It would be nice to see more of an effort on the government's part to cater for those people. But, all in all, the marketplace is pretty robust and a lot healthier than it used to be.
"The FCA is slightly frustrating as an authoritative body, as it does not really offer chapter and and verse on how you are expected to do business. It kind of gives rough guidelines. It's so vague. A bit more meat on the bones of regulation would be better so we know where we stand in particular circumstances."
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Will report to Pat Shea