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UK FSA new rules for investment advisers

Thursday 20 January 2011 - by Andrew Hickley

The UK Financial Services Authority has confirmed that retail investment advisers must hold a Statement of Professional Standing to give independent or restricted advice from January 2013.

Issued by FSA accredited bodies, the SPS will be issued if the adviser satisfies demands that they act in the public interest and help further the development of the profession.

Verification services and evidence of appropriate systems and controls in place to provide evidence of continuing effectiveness must be displayed.

Investment advisers will also be obliged to complete at least 35 hours of Continuing Professional Development throughout the year, involving the participation of courses, lectures, seminars and/or workshops. This CPD will focus on improving advisers' skills and knowledge.

In addition, cooperation with the FSA on an ongoing basis is required.

"Rebuilding trust between customer and adviser is absolutely vital for the future prosperity of the retail investment market," said the FSA's director of conduct policy, Sheila Nicoll.

"When advisers open for business in January 2013, a Statement of Professional Standing will be a vital indicator for customers that the person they are dealing with is subscribing to a code of ethics, has up-to-date knowledge, and is appropriately qualified."

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