Doing Your Duty - Are Advisers now at Risk of an Identity Crisis?

Financial Advisory

22 June 2023

Advisory DistributorsConsumer DutydistributionFCAFinancial AdvisoryRegulationStructure

Expert: William Marshall, Hymans Robertson Investment Services Facilitator: Paul Miles, Silverback Consultancy


  1. It is important to recognise that there are many different business structures in operation across our industry and firms are at different stages of their Consumer Duty journey
  2. Key questions parties are asking is whether they are now in scope of the FCA’s PROD rules for Manufacturers and/or co-Manufacturers, due to the extension of the definition of a product to include services under Consumer Duty, and how they can build those requirements into their business models and operations
  3. Small firms that may not be resourced for this will need support from manufacturers to help them navigate the practical impacts.


The approach to evidencing “good” is likely to evolve over time:
As with any new regulation, it will take some time to embed and for the industry to determine what the “good” standard looks like.

This is likely to mean firms’ approach to evidencing alignment to the Consumer Duty will also evolve over time. This will be supported by the FCA’s reviews into the implementation of the Duty over time.

The appropriate approach to gathering and use of data is going to be a key requirement:
It will likely be in a questionnaire format, with every manufacturer requesting different types of data from distributers; the IA is seeking to introduce an industry-led standardised format. There was a question about whether questionnaires will be returned (and if not, what reasonable steps/can the Manufacturers take?)                                                                                                                          

Manufacturers are there to help:
It was recognised that some Manufacturers have done a massive amount of work, particularly around fair value, and are there to help.

The FCA will be looking for firms to have shown best endeavours at 31 July 2023

Manufacturers’ data needs to be more readily available for distributors to use:
It was noted that much it can be challenging to find the right channels to get information from Manufacturers relating to their approach to Consumer Duty e.g. their approach to assessing fair value.  It was agreed this needs to improve to give distributers the support they need.

Key takeaways:

  • There is still a great deal of confusion around the definitions of Manufacturer and Distributor, particularly in the smaller firms and their specific circumstances
  • There is also confusion around the definitions of Product Manufacturers and Distributors and how it applies to firms’ specific circumstances