2018 was another fantastic year for Para-Sols – you may remember us highlighting some of our favourite moments in our 9th birthday blog, if not, you can remind yourself here.

Entering 2019 as a strong team of 31, across both Para-Sols and Apricity, we are more than ready for the year to come and all of the amazing possibilities that lie ahead.

We can’t go into too much detail regarding our future plans (as it’s all top secret right now!), but what we can say is that 2019 is looking to be one of our most exciting years yet, so watch this space…

So, with that in mind, we thought a good place to start this New Year would be to take a look at what’s to come in the world of financial services – whilst preparing you for any future changes.

Below you’ll find thoughts on current hot topics and upcoming news that we think you should be aware of, from our Founder & Director, Cathi.

Defined benefits

Inevitably, there is much more to come on this. The findings published by the FCA in December 2018 are likely to have caused more questions to be raised, the PI market is in disarray and there is almost certainly more change coming there, plus a review of TVC / APTA and whether they are working as intended is still needed.

SFGB 

You may have seen the releases on this last week as the new Single Financial Guidance Body officially launched – albeit it hasn’t yet been officially named, and needs this and a brand applying. I don’t have a huge amount of positive things to say on the SFGB, and the cash drain it is shaping up to be, so other than to note its arrival, and to be aware of it for your clients, let’s move swiftly on….

New FOS limits 

The FCA proposals to increase the FOS complaint limit from £150,000 to £350,000 are pencilled in for this year. There are pros and cons to this; having witnessed a case where the client and their retirement were severely impacted by the lower limit, I can see the benefit of a higher one. However, the impact on advisers, and their PI costs, particularly in the context of all the other change this year, mean it is unlikely to be as welcomed with open arms as it might have been, had the FCA chosen a more opportune moment to consult on this.

Brexit

The absolute long and short of it is that no one knows what the hell is happening, or going to happen, with this – other than something will happen, and it will be this year. The FCA has been quite proactive in consulting on Brexit, and creating proposals for transitional protections that will make ongoing operations for UK authorised firms relatively straightforward, in theory. And GDPR will have helped the majority of firms get into a position regarding data to smoothly transition to any new rules.

RDR and FAMR review 

Initially pencilled in for next year, the RDR review has been brought forward to coincide with a FAMR review, and will include an analysis on the ‘cost of advice’ by the FCA. No doubt a bit more tinkering will be seen post review.

SM&CR

Already underway, it is anticipated that the Senior Managers & Certification Regime will be rolled out to the remaining firms by December 2019, and this will cover the majority of IFAs, so one to be preparing for.

And this is just the stuff already planned in… there will no doubt be a few surprises along the way to keep us all on our toes!

What’s in store for 2019?