2022 continued to be a very busy year for the wealth management industry and 2023 shows no signs of letting up, with economic factors playing a significant role. The ever increasing consumer and FCA expectations on wealth managers to provide better results and outcomes for cheaper (or, at least, lower ad valorem fees in falling markets), whilst complying with an inexorably expanding regulatory burden, would be enough to give us all the January blues. But change is disruptive and there are positives out there.
In our report on the year past, we cover a range of topics highlighting the extent of the challenges faced by firms. Whilst the obvious topic is Consumer Duty, there have been various other significant changes in relation to Financial Promotions, Principal/AR oversight, Prudential Regulation and Financial Crime. As ever, we are able to share the insights and expertise of our Regulatory Consulting colleagues on these 'regulatory change' issues. There are further fundamental regulatory changes afoot – post-Brexit Edinburgh reforms, a new FS&M Bill and a core advice regime as a forerunner to more substantial reform to the advice / guidance boundary.
2022 also saw ongoing controversy surrounding the British Steel pension transfer 'scandal' which is expected to continue to dominate the headlines and may delay further developments in the wider DB transfer industry. In addition, the challenging market and regulatory environment (including inevitable Enforcement actions) may lead to more insolvencies - and M&A activity - as companies struggle for survival. In anticipation of such risks, all firms face an increasing focus on wind-down planning.
Please contact the authors or editors if you want to discuss anything of particular interest or relevance.