The professional body with 40,000 members has outlined a sweeping package of measures it wants to see to ensure planners can keep working.
- The FCA pushing back the deadline for registering advisers on their directory from December 2020 to December 2021
- Given the postponement of exams, a push back on the 1 October deadline for pension transfer specialists to achieve required qualifications
- The City watchdog to issue communications to the public about the importance of not over-reacting to investment market behaviours during the outbreak and seek guidance or advice
- A lighter touch on the Senior Managers Certification Regime implementation
- Relaxing regulatory financial returns requirements.
The PFS says the measures would help a “stretched” Financial Planning profession help more clients and members of the public in need of financial advice “at this challenging time.”
The body has written to the FCA and Treasury to outline its suggestions.
The PFS also wants confirmation that government business loans will not breach a firm’s capital adequacy requirements and is seeking a four-month waiver for advice firms searching for professional indemnity insurance as it looks like the PI market is being severely impacted by the outbreak.
The body also wants the Treasury to consider acting as “reinsurer of last resort” for professional indemnity insurance ahead of a wider PII/Financial Services Compensation Scheme funding review.
The Personal Finance Society has also requested an extension of the 48-month deadline for advisers to become qualified while giving advice under supervision and for the Mifid II requirement to notify clients when their investments falls by more than 10 per cent to be suspended until further notice.
Keith Richards, chief executive of the PFS, said: “These are unprecedented times and to better meet the demand for more financial advice from impacted consumers, advisers will need help from the government and regulator.
“The impact of COVID-19 will make it virtually impossible for financial advisers to talk to clients face-to-face, with the majority now having to reassure clients and help them with their needs over the telephone or internet, while contending with their own personal challenges. Over the coming months, the focus for all stakeholders must be on maximising the amount of time advisers can spend dealing with client needs, especially those in desperate need of the profession’s help.”