The suitability reports required under the FCA’s Conduct of Business Sourcebook remain a key area of focus for the regulator. The FCA requires firms to undertake regular file reviews to evidence having appropriate management and controls in place.
File reviews can be time-consuming. But that is no excuse if an FCA visit uncovers shortcomings you should have known about. Far better to be proactive than to end up with a fine or getting flagged for closer scrutiny.
Our comprehensive file review checking system generates a wealth of management information, both firm-wide and at individual adviser level. This helps spot any trends and enables you to take any action required. Using our service gives you the benefit of our extensive compliance expertise and experience.
When you use our file review services, your financial adviser files will be reviewed by a fully competent, diploma-qualified compliance consultant. Much more than a tick-box exercise, this is an opportunity to review your advice process and the suitability of the advice your firm provides. As well as looking at whether this advice follows FCA rules, we consider its defensibility in the event of a complaint.
Our outcome-focused file reviews get to the heart of whether clients have been suitably advised and adequately informed. File reviews go beyond the question of risk, to assess, for example, whether solutions meet clients’ objectives and tax position and whether they’re suitable from a cost perspective. This approach aligns closely with the FCA’s own focus on outcomes.
Using our file review services will show whether your advisers are fully up to speed with the latest regulatory changes, or whether they need additional training. Undertaking file reviews also identifies any weaknesses in your compliance processes, for example in areas like anti-money laundering or disclosure of remuneration.
We can carry out remote file reviews on a regular or an ad-hoc basis. We’ll always provide a full report that highlights good practice as well as any areas requiring improvement or training. We can also help you implement these improvements, with compliance solutions specifically tailored to your business model.
The first step is subscribing to the file review checking software. To subscribe, click here and enter your company details and payment information.
Once you’ve registered, you’ll receive your user credentials along with a user guide. You’ll then be able to add additional users and submit case files for review.
Payment and fees
Payment for the services shown below falls due and is taken on the sooner of:
- The date the case was submitted for review
- 14 days from the date the case order was created
Case file description and fees
|Pension Transfer||Replacement Investment||At Retirement||Multi Plan Recommendation||Pension Switch (Personal)|
Creating and submitting
When creating a new case file for review, file review checking software will present you with a pre-populated list of requirements according to the type of case, along with the option of including supporting documentation or notes ready for submission and review.
Our compliance experts will be notified that a case has been submitted for review. They’ll assess the suitability of the supporting documentation, and you’ll then be notified of the outcome. If a file you’ve submitted is assessed as unclear or unsuitable, we’ll advise you on how to ensure you meet your regulatory obligations.
You’ll only be charged once per case file. A single fee covers the first submission and any reasonable number of resubmissions following compliance feedback.
In addition to our user guide, you’ll also have access to our help desk if you need technical support or help navigating the system.