And it is right and proper the FCA has its critics and that it criticises people like me back. Debbie Gupta is that bold voice that IFAs need to listen to. And this is what she was saying at the PFS conference last week. (reporting from FT Adviser)
“We don’t expect advisers to be charities, everyone should be paid a fair amount for the services that they provide – but we do expect you to consider the conflicts that will arise, including how you structure your charges to ensure this does not lead to consumers suffering harm
“Take for example the charges on ongoing advice. Most advisers that we see are charging a percentage of the client’s assets and this structure works well for clients who are building their wealth.
“Is it the right structure for people who are withdrawing their assets? Each withdrawal reduces the level of fee you receive and over time that fee income can drop significantly.”
“At the same time, client circumstances may be getting more complex – as they age they become more vulnerable, they may be less able to visit you in your offices and they may need more care from you.
“We would be really concerned if long standing clients were priced out of advice just at the point when they need you the most.
“After all helping people make decisions on withdrawing assets for use in retirement is as essential as advising on how to invest those assets.
“So how does your charging structure work and is it future-proofed against that evolving market?”
Good question Ms Gupta!