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Because I'm worth it

Financial advisers should be able to look their clients in the eye and clearly articulate why their advice is worth paying for. This might not always come naturally, but it is an important test of how confident a firm is about the value of the services it offers and the sustainability of its business model.

It will also be an important part of managing conduct risk as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) continues its thematic interest in how firms charge customers for advice, as well as how they describe and deliver their services. A key aim of the regulator is to ensure that there is a competitive market in which clients are aware of the cost of advice and can shop around between providers. 

The FCA is therefore focused on improving standards of disclosure and firms need to respond by testing whether clients genuinely understand what they are paying for. In additon, two years after the implementation deadline for the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) firms should be carrying out a wider review to see if their charging structures are working for them on a commercial basis.