FCA—accredited bodies
FCA—accredited bodies

The following Financial Services guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • FCA—accredited bodies
  • The Retail Distribution Review and the development of accredited body status
  • What is an accredited body?
  • The process of accreditation
  • When will accreditation be withdrawn?
  • What is the function of an accredited body?
  • Developments

The Retail Distribution Review and the development of accredited body status

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) created the status of 'accredited body' following a lengthy consultation process instigated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in 2006. In 2008, the FSA published its final statement on the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) which introduced new professionalism standards (the Standards) for investment advisors (IA). Further information on the RDR can be found in Practice Notes: Retail Distribution Review and Retail Distribution Review and the regulator. In December 2012 the Standards finally came into effect through changes in the rules contained in the Training and Competence sourcebook (TC) of the FCA Handbook. IAs are now required to:

  1. hold an appropriate qualification as defined in TC App 5

  2. adhere to ethical standards—advisors should be familiar with the Statements of Principle and Code of Practice for Approved Persons (APER) or Code of Conduct Sourcebook (COCON).

  3. carry out at least 35 hours of continuing professional development a year

  4. make an annual declaration that they are meeting standards and, as evidence, hold a Statement of Professional Standing (SPS) from an accredited body

The purpose of the Standards is to increase professional ethics and conduct within the investment advisor industry and enhance consumer confidence and protection.


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