FINANCIAL ADVICE AND THE FCA
Recently my idle spare time studies of theology have led me to ponder a phrase from Isiah that is relevant to today's retail financial services. "...My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways..."
You might wonder what all this has to do with the world of the IFA? The point is that many people take GOD and shape him into their own image, to justify what they do, how they act and satisfy themselves that what they do is right - "God is on my side...etc" Putin of course is enthusiastically supported by the Russian Orthodox Church - I rest my case.
IFAC experience with the regulator's communications have an unnerving similarity. What they think is good and bad, is not necessarily what you think of as good and bad. You can read all the DPs and CP papers you like, and still misunderstand the FCA's view. Almost all the firms we deal with believe their way is the best way, is compliant and delivers the best outcomes. But the differences between them are dramatic. Perhaps that is why you employ IFAC to help, to keep a sounding board on your standards, and it would be as well then to follow our advice as provided in file checks and audits. Of course IFAC have the same fate - we don't necessarily have the same thoughts or ways as the FCA.
But what IFAC do provide is independent verification of your "thoughts and ways" - be they right or wrong. Getting independent verification is the first step to compliant business, suffice to say I don't believe you can operate a firm successfully in the long term without it.