FCA urges wealth managers to spend less time on regulation

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Wealth management firms’ boards should spend less time on regulatory issues and focus more on managing their business, the FCA says.

Speaking at the Wealth Management Association summit today, FCA chairman John Griffith-Jones said the regulator is concerned firms are focusing on complying with its rules at the expense of clients.

He said: “FCA acting chief executive Tracey McDermott is concerned that boards are spending too much time on dealing with regulation rather than taking care of the business.”

However, Griffith-Jones acknowledged the increasing regulatory burden many firms are facing.

He said: “I accept we have a huge burden of regulation. I think in the long-term wealth management businesses will flourish if they provide valued and trusted service, so there will be less regulation.”

Griffith-Jones also said the need of “constant protection” for firms has increased especially with the pension reforms and “the inevitable complexity of such a new system”.

He says: “This demonstrates we need wealth managers to continue to have good conduct, but you have to have good conduct for yourself not for the regulator.”