Treating clients fairly?
This is a term that the UK regulator, the FCA, has used extensively – particularly with regards to the advisory sector – and has been, albeit slightly differently phrased, at the core of all relevant EU regulations in recent years. And rightly so – putting the client at the centre of the whole process and ensuring that he or she is treated in a fair, honest and objective manner should be central to any advisory process, of course.
Why then, can regulators ignore their own rules?
Due to Brexit, the EU passporting facility obviously ceased for UK firms at the end of last year. One of the results of this is the potential exclusion from access to advice for many people – a consequence that seems to be somewhat ignored at present.
Whilst the UK has effectively acknowledged regulatory equivalence for EU entities, the EU has not confirmed the same in the opposite direction – and there is little, if any, sign of that happening in the short term (if at all).
UK and EU approaches
The UK has also ensured continuity of business - through frameworks such as the Temporary Permissions Regime (TPR) and Financial Services Contracts Regime (FSCR) – but, as yet, the EU has not reciprocated in a similar manner. Once again, nothing seems to be on the horizon in this regard.
There are different regimes in various countries across Europe but none of them offer the same, relatively easy, continuation options – and some offer, quite literally, nothing at all...