The regulator said it has found a “material improvement” in the way firms disclose the cost of their advice, their scope of service, and the nature of their services to clients.
However, it also found further disclosure improvements needed to be done, particularly in disclosing fees in cash terms of the ongoing charges they will be paying for the firm’s ongoing service.
The results were part of the third and final cycle of the regulator’s thematic review of how well firms have implemented the rules brought about by the Retail Distribution Review (RDR).
The review of the RDR looked at ongoing services firms provide to clients in return for an ongoing adviser charge, and how firms are delivering these ongoing services in practice.
It followed two previous reviews, which the FCA said were “disappointing”.
In April, the second cycle of the work found too many advisory firms were not being clear with consumers on how much advice costs, the type of service they offer – whether it is restricted and the nature of the restriction – and what on-going services they provide.
The FCA said at the time it had seen a lot of positive progress and willingness among advisers to adapt to the new environment, but that it was “disappointed” with the results of the review.
The first part of the thematic work, published in July last year, found some advisers were not transparent enough about their charges, leaving customers confused and unable to compare and contrast prices.
This applied to both upfront and ongoing charges, the regulator said.