The following are just some examples of APFA's recent activities and successes.

APFA has:
  • Achieved a reduction in advisers' share of the pensions guidance levy. Following representations from APFA, the FCA dropped its proposals to allocate 20% or 30% of the pensions guidance levy to advisers, and is instead consulting on the A13 fee block paying 12% of the bill. Assuming an annual cost of £35m for the guidance guarantee (based on H M Treasury's current estimates), this represents a saving of between £3m and £6m a year for the financial advice profession. APFA will continue to push for a bigger reduction, as we believe the benefits to advisers from the guidance service have been over-stated.

  • Succeeded in getting the FCA to conduct a review of the longstop. Following the launch of APFA's campaign for a fair limit on the liabilities faced by advisers, the FCA announced in its 2014/15 Business Plan that it would conduct a review of the need for a longstop. APFA has started a conversation with the regulator to push for a limit that would provide a fair outcome for consumers and advisers.

  • Reduced regulatory costs, following campaigning both with the FCA and in MAS negotiations with industry bodies. This resulted in a reduction in both the FCA and MAS 2014/15 fee-rates. We will continue to press for all the regulatory bodies to be more cost effective and to commit to not increasing their costs over the next three years.

  • Achieved a reduction in the level of data that firms must report every six month via the RMAR. We were particularly concerned about sections K and L which collected information around adviser charging as it was far from clear what exactly the regulator was looking for. The FCA is about to delete section L from the return and is also seeking to clarify the labels used in Section K to make it easier for firms to complete. A change from six monthly to annual reporting for section K is also on the cards. We welcome these changes but continue to push for a wholesale review of the RMAR to ensure that only data that is used and is necessary is collected by the regulator.

  • Successfully lobbied for the withdrawal of a cap on adviser charges which was included in draft PRIIPS regulation being considered by the European Parliament.

  • Successfully lobbied the Financial Ombudsman Service for an increase in the number of free cases from three to 25.