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Think you’d pass an Independent status check from the FCA?

Just because you are an honest adviser and investing your clients’ monies in a wide range of underlying funds selected from the whole investment universe, doesn’t automatically make you Independent, warns Steve Bailey, director of compliance firm ATEB Consulting.

Below is an 8-point table from a 16-page Special Report provided exclusively for by ATEB, one of the few compliance consultancies that has FCA approval to undertake Conduct of Business Skilled Persons (Section 166) reviews, highlighting the key areas and suggested action points for firms assessing their Independent status.

The full 16-page Special Report, with valuable insight into staying independent, including key indicators and reading list, can be accessed online HERE or downloaded as a pdf document here.

If you want to assess your Independent status, here’s a simple do’s and don’ts 8-point table for starters:

1. Don’t take referral fees or any third party payment that is linked to a product or service

2. Keep an open mind when you fact-find and offer solutions

3. Create a fee structure that means that you get paid regardless of the advice outcome

4. Ensure that any obligation, ownership, finance or something ‘sticky’ does not prevent the firm from providing a personal recommendation which is unbiased and unrestricted

5. Don’t offer pre-determined and default solutions

6. Always explain the virtues of holistic advice to clients

7. Maintain up-to-date CPD across the market

8. Ensure that your systems are transparent and well documented.

Visit ATEB Consulting website


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