Although these are new opportunities for clients wishing to invest for positive social outcomes while still retaining the potential for a level of growth or income, Government and the regulator, are keen that regulation should not prevent access by retail investors and therefore have made amends to the Financial Services Bill:
- In the Lords, the Government spokesperson for the Treasury announced that ‘the regulatory approach’ should take into account that ‘consumers might have non-financial for example, social goals’
- The FSA has appointed a named individual to see what clarifications and/or changes are needed around the current rules to ensure that advisers are not too scared of regulatory interference to give advice on this basis
- A commitment to reduce the regulatory barriers that prevent financial advisers from distributing social investment produce.
See the extract in the attached pdf from the Lords debate, to save your time some headlines have been highlighted.
It is a new area to the retail market but one which, as a profession, we do need to be able to consider in order to provide a full service to those clients who do wish to invest in this way.