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Regulation deconstructed: a guide to regulated financial advice

The guide forms part of a range of material that has been created to help members better understand the regulatory and technical issues of personal financial planning.

Welcome to our guide to regulated financial advice which ICAEW produced in collaboration with Grant Thornton UK LLP and Octopus Investments Ltd, as well as members of the ICAEW Personal Financial Planning Advisory Group.

Personal Financial Planning

This publication represents a natural addition to the ICAEW Personal Financial Planning: Traffic Light Guide to Regulation by focusing on how financial investment advisers are regulated. It follows the approach of deconstructing complex issues into a practical format. The guide also provides some tips to help you identify types of scenarios where clients would benefit from receiving holistic personal financial planning advice, with suggestions on how to build your network of regulated financial advisers.

This guide is aimed at members, non-members, students, policymakers, business people and those in practice.


  • An introduction to the regulatory framework
  • Guidance on professionalism in the retail advice sector
  • A description of different kinds of advice
  • Advice on how to work and collaborate with financial advisers
Regulation deconstructed: a guide to regulated financial advice

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A guide to regulated financial advice

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Regulatory framework

This section addresses the development of various financial regulatory bodies. It explains the role of the PRA and the FCA, along with the FSCS and the FOS. The Senior Managers & Certificate Regime is detailed and there is a discussion of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR).


A core aim of the RDR was to improve the level of consumer confidence and trust in the retail financial advice sector by raising standards of professionalism. This section explores relevant key elements: qualifications, ethical behaviour and continuing professional development. It also covers the roles and responsibilities of advisers, firms, accredited bodies and the FCA.


The RDR abolished the old system of independent, tied and multi-tied classifications for financial advice. Different types of financial advice are explored in this section, along with how the old system has been adapted, post-RDR.


The final section of the guide covers three different client scenarios to identify the types of clients that could benefit from financial advice. These include corporate clients, clients going through a major life event and high-wealth clients. Due diligence is also addressed.

For further support, consider joining the Personal Financial Planning Community.