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Some silver linings for 2016 

January 26, 2016

Dan Jones, FT Advisor

Good news has probably been thin on the ground for most advisers this year. But on one issue – regulation – a silver lining seems to be emerging.

Specifically, I’m thinking of Mifid II. A potential year’s delay to the legislation isn’t foremost in my mind here. There have been enough reminders by now that timetables are tight, even with 12 months’ grace. My starting point is more specific – Mifid’s suggestion that all consumers who buy “complex” investment products be subject to “appropriateness tests”.

These tests have caused some alarm among those who fear the death of these products’ hopes of attracting retail investors. But the difficulty of gauging when and by whom they should be taken means it may be easier for platforms to apply a blanket approach – or so one direct-to-consumer player has suggested to me.

Tests for all means more forms to fill in, for each and every retail investor. It doesn’t sound like good news, but let’s explore a little further.

Firstly, the Investment Association has said it will seek to work with the FCA to lighten the burden. A simple box-ticking exercise for consumers, if that is the outcome, shouldn’t prove a barrier to engagement or investment. Read more


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