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April 25, 2024

Quilter confirms skilled person review of its ongoing advice service

Quilter has confirmed  a “skilled person” review of its ongoing advice service, following discussions with the FCA.

The firm made the announcement via its first quarter trading statement, which it published this week.

It said it had committed to undertake a review of historical data and practises across the Quilter Financial Planning Limited network of Appointed Representative firms (AR’s).

Adding that: “The purpose of this review is to determine if the AR firms have met their ongoing servicing obligations to customers and, if not, remediate customers to the extent appropriate.”

Quilter first announced it would review its network’s ongoing advice service in March when it published its preliminary results.

It also revealed it was one of 20 large advice firms that the FCA had written to requesting information about ongoing advice services.

Why has the FCA written to firms about Ongoing Advice Services?

In February 2024 the FCA wrote to 20 of the largest financial adviser firms about ongoing advice services. This was following the introduction of Consumer Duty.

It wanted information about their delivery of ongoing services, for which clients continue to be charged after advice has been given.

The FCA wanted data on the number of clients due a review of the ongoing suitability of the advice as part of the service. And how many clients had received that review, and how many had paid but whose fee was refunded as the suitability review did not happen.

In December 2023 the Regulator flagged concerns that it appeared some consumers may be paying services, such as annual reviews, but not receiving them.

 

Not just Quilter reviewing ongoing advice service claims

Quilter aren’t the only firm to be reviewing their ongoing advice services.

Earlier this year St James’s Place announced it had conducted a back-book review of SJP clients from 2018. This was also led by an appointed skilled person.

The review resulted in SJP setting aside £426m to address potential refunds owed to clients in respect of ongoing advice servicing.

Clients who paid an ongoing service fee, but there is no evidence that they received an annual review or service.

And in March 2024 the FCA published a thematic review which found 231 firms had charged clients for ongoing advice they didn’t deliver.

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