Regulated Business Activity and Our Client Stories

Clients are often unaware of the multitude of business tasks that have to be completed by an Independent Financial Adviser firm. These are the essential requirements of running a business which operates in the most highly regulated regime in the world

Over the last couple of months, the business tasks have taken a lot of time and sometimes they have demanded so much time that there was little time left to do what I enjoy and what is the most important – helping and advising clients.

My Professional Indemnity, PI, insurance renewal required a detailed application of over twenty pages and took the best part of a day to complete and organise. According to published figures the average PI insurance for small firms is about 4% of turnover and in my case that is about right. The FCA annual regulatory fees invoice came in at almost the same time and this demanded a significant payment to The FCA, The FOS, and The FSCS.

Every six months I have to submit a report to The FCA called an RMAR report. This report is about 50 pages of detailed analysis of my business and it usually takes a couple of days to complete. In addition, the business accounts have to be kept up to date but with online accounting facilities like Free Agent or Xero this is nothing like as onerous as it used to be.

Then there is keeping up to date with changes in regulations, the economy, taxation, investments, pensions, and other matters. I have to keep an up to date record of all development and training and log it to The CII and The CISI via their online systems. The CII require my CPD record so that they can issue me with my Statement of Professional Standing, SPS, without which I cannot operate. The CISI require my CPD record so that they can renew my annual Certified Financial Planner, CFP, licence. The minimum requirement for CPD (continual professional development) is 35 hours a year or about 3 hours a month but in practice I usually do over three times that amount.

Another set of new regulations the Insurance Distribution Directive, IDD, came in on 1st of October and that requires a minimum of 15 hours CPD on protection (life and general insurance). This was the fifth major set of regulatory changes introduced during 2018 and they all require attention and changes to systems, procedures, and documentation to ensure compliance.

In September two full days were occupied with my Standards International assessments for ISO 22222 and BS 8577. All of the required work to comply with their requirements is completed during the year so that when the reports were received the additional requirements were completed in less than half a day.

If you then add in the other essential jobs like managing technology and developing improvements to services and you can see why I need an excellent team behind me. If you haven’t looked at the team for a while click here and see their photos and other details.

All of this business stuff is hardly inspiring and uplifting, but it is essential so that we can continue to help and advise our wonderful clients. A conversation that I had this month with a client was very moving and it made doing all of the ‘stuff’ worthwhile. I would like to share his story with you so please take a look. Click here.  

We have helped clients for over 25 years and we have many wonderful examples of where our help and advice has improved their lives. We have decided to share some of those stories and our intention is to add one story a month. If you would like to have a conversation and help us out with this project, we would be delighted to hear from you.

If you have any queries or if there is anything that I can help you with, please get in touch. Either me or one of my team will be glad to do what they can.

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