We have often written about the dangers of taking advice from unqualified and/or unregulated advisers. A recent change in the regulations surrounding financial advice will cause some concern for those with friends or relatives who may be influenced by non-tailored advice to take actions that could later prove to have been ill-considered.
The changes relate to what may be considered to be 'financial advice'. The UK definition is currently very broad in scope and is not in alignment with the EU Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. However, that will change in January 2018 as a result of regulations amending Article 53 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001 so that only advice which is personal to the recipient will constitute 'financial advice'. This will mean that most regulated firms will be exempt from the need to hold a permission to advise on investments unless the firm is providing a personal recommendation.
The result may well be both an upsurge in generic (but possibly persuasive) financial advice and a widening of the range of advisory services offered by organisations which are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.