The big news in the market last week was Fidelity’s launch into advice – a move that had been been predicted since the fund manager launched in the UK decades previously.
The restricted service will focus on investment and retirement advice and may expand into other areas – initial advice will be free with a charge for ongoing advice.
It raises some interesting questions. Among others is Fidelity competing with its adviser users. Answer, it certainly seems like it. That said, does it rival Schroders or Quilter or advisers more broadly. And is this an example of the greater competition which the regulator desires?
It is also interesting to see Fidelity offer advice in the form of a single meeting or annual review which can be conducted via telephone, video conferencing, or in-person once lockdown restrictions are lifted.
The FCA has launched a Defined Benefit tool to help advisers assess transfers. The Defined Benefit Advice Assessment Tool (DBAAT) assesses advice given before October 2020, with the regulator expected to release an updated tool which incorporates rule changes which came in force from October in the coming months.
There is much debate online about the tool and how it is encouraging calculations on the previous rule set. It could be argued this is a more prescriptive trend in regulation alongside pathways for example.
Looking to the future when it is updated for the new rules, will an adviser really be able to say I used another tool if a case is in dispute?
The Supreme Court has ruled that insurers must pay out on business interruption insurance confirming the previous decision of the High Court. Big bills for insurers, relief for businesses and arguably a win for the FCA which brought the case in the first place.
Much is still be decided in the detail including proving Covid-19 was prevalent in the area where the business concerned operated. There is a sense some of the arguing will continue and the FCA and Supreme Court are working on further declarations.
One broader point is that some advisers have suggested that the failure to pay had a broader impact on insurance more generally including protection insurance. Not sure this ruling will help with trust given it was ordered by the courts.
Finally, Money Marketing editor Justin Cash writes an excellent weekend essay about the vexed issue of footballers’ finances and often bogus or controversial investment schemes.