Martin Bamford CFPTM Chartered MCSI, managing director of Informed Choice, said the regulator instead needs to focus on tackling mis-selling at source.
The FCA has continued to espouse the possible benefits of robo – or automated – advice – with moves to help firms develop such services further through trials with a regulatory sandbox as well as its Innovation Hub.
Last month, the authors of the Financial Advice Market Review said large-scale automated advice models should be brought to market more rapidly with FCA help.
Tracey McDermott, acting FCA chief executive, said earlier this month that robo-advice had “the potential to be an extremely effective way of providing more affordable and engaging advice for many consumers”.
She said: “For those who prefer face-to-face advice, we are also seeing a number of hybrid models which give people the option of speaking to an adviser at some point during the automated process.”
Mr Bamford, reacting to her speech, told Financial Planning Today: “It is critical that the FCA stops playing with robo-advice and starts tackling mis-selling at source, rather than constantly asking the sector and consumers to pick up the tab through FSCS levies and bulging regulatory fees.”
Ms McDermott also said that Financial planning fails to “set most people's pulses racing”.
Asked if Financial Planners would feel this had been a disparaging remark, Mr Bamford said: “In my experience, Financial Planners are easily offended by everything the regulator says. In the context of her speech, the comment was quite reasonable.
“People don’t generally get excited about Financial Planning, unless we make the effort to excite them. It is absolutely the responsibility of Financial Planners to sell the benefits of advice and build trust in what we do.
“The regulator has an important role to play too, especially when it comes to the continued distrust of financial services companies.”
Read what other Financial Planners made of the FCA chief's comments here.
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