This November 22 at the PFS festival IFAC had a stand opposite the FCA. A regular queue of people formed up to ask the FCA questions. Quite what they expected to learn, I have no idea, because they are regulators, not tourist guides, and no doubt they took home notes full of observations about angry and distressed brokers - not operating "in the spirit of the regulations" (a real FCA term) There is no shortage of complaints when it comes to the FCA. Lack of accountability almost guarantees poor standards. IFAC consoled a large number of retail brokers, vocal in expressing their anger about our neighbours, and hopefully we persuaded a few not to vent their frustration at the unfortunate pair manning their stand.
This is sad because there has never been a better time to be an IFA. Regulation protects businesses from competition. The customer may have a right to be aggrieved on a cost-benefit basis, but we just operate. Stock markets, particularly in the UK, will probably never be as cheap again in your lifetime, and by almost any measure, are lying at historic lows. There has never been a better time to invest in houses, with negative real interest rates, and for the first time in years gilts and index linkers represent some value. Your businesses are protected with barriers to entry (regulation) that other industries regard with envy and there are jobs and opportunities for people coming into the work force that are better than ever before in history.