FCA confirms leadership of financial advice working group


The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced the makeup of its working group established to drive forward the regulator’s goals for the UK financial services sector.

Daniel Godfrey will serve as Chair and Julia Breblow as Vice-Chair of the working group, the primary goal of which is to bolster the sustainable finance of the UK’s financial advisory space.

Additionally, the Secretariat of the working group will be led by the Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association (PIMFA). The group aims to begin reporting on good practice within the financial advisory sector by the second half of 2024.

Sacha Sadan, Director of Environmental, Social & Governance, said: “We are delighted that Daniel, Julia and PIMFA have agreed to lead the working group. This important project will benefit from their combined skills and expertise.

“We believe in the value of solutions being led and designed by industry and look forward to seeing the group focus on practical ideas to support the advice sector in building its capabilities on sustainable finance.”

The primary responsibility of the group will be to advise consumers about products ‘making claims about sustainability’, falling under the FCA’s aforementioned wider objective of supporting British financial sector development.

Rishi Sunak’s government has marked the financial sector, and by extension fintech and other related technologies, as one of the key growth driving segments of the UK economy.

This has included support for continued development of the crypto sector and regulations around this, as well as investment in AI technology – the latter highlighted in the government’s £500m pledge to support tech innovation in the Autumn budget.

The FCA’s creation of the working group and confirmation of its leadership comes in the latter stages of its three-year strategy. The regulator’s latest update on the strategy focused heavily on consumer protection and harm reduction.

As Chair, Godfrey will be tasked with appointing the group’s membership from across the advice sector including ‘small and large industry participants’ and coordinate its engagement with various stakeholders, including consumers, for a ‘balanced representation of views’.

Commenting on his new role in the working group, Godfrey remarked: ”I’m deeply honoured and excited to have been asked by the FCA to chair the Advisers’ Sustainability Group, alongside my vice-chair Julia Dreblow and with the support of PIMFA.

”We intend to move quickly to appoint a set of members to the group that represents all stakeholders. The project will additionally seek the widest possible range of views.

”It is vital that advisers are empowered to fully comprehend and integrate sustainability risks as material financial considerations. Collectively they can help to steer the whole investment industry towards an alignment of investment strategies with the long-term needs and values of clients.”