Ahead of an expected FCA deep dive review, a large advice network asked us to conduct a preparatory audit into its approaches for giving investment advice. It wanted to identify any weaknesses and begin to address these as well as to help its managers and advisers understand how a regulatory deep dive would be carried out.
Using our ADVISE best practice benchmarking tool we undertook a wide ranging audit of policy, process and practice including interviews with advisers and managers and a review of 30 advice cases.
We identified a number of areas for improvement and our client was able to put these in motion. While they could not be completed ahead of the FCA audit, they were able to be transparent with the FCA about what had been identified and how they were responding. This improvement plan gave the FCA confidence in the management team and its focus on risk management and treating its customers well.