Press Release

Treasury’s redefinition of financial advice will enhance investor protection, says WMA

28th February 2017

In response to the latest announcement from HM Treasury, WMA – the trade association representing over 180 firms who look after over £825 billion of the UK’s wealth for individual investors – warmly welcomed a move to ensure that only regulated firms are able to provide financial advice to clients.

WMA also welcomed the Treasury’s commitment to bring the UK definition of advice in line with the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) definition of advice as a personal recommendation.

WMA was a key participant in the consultations, launched in September last year, highlighting industry views that current definitions lacked clarity about what constitutes advice and what constitutes guidance.  WMA further argued that standardising the definitions of advice to those outlined in MIFID II would allow firms to mitigate risks and better help consumers.

The recent announcement, which the government says will help protect consumers from being sold inappropriate products, confirms that personal recommendations can only be made by regulated firms. WMA note that the Government will leave the wider RAO definition of advice as “advising on investments” in place for unregulated firms.

“This is an important decision for the industry and its clients: consumer protection, proportional regulation and clarity are essential tenets and this move enables firms to deliver to individuals and families the best possible financial advice so they can confidently plan for the future”, said WMA Chief Executive Liz Field.


Notes for Editors

If you would like further information on this release or other press matters please contact:

Sheena Gillett, Head of PR and Communications at WMA on +44 (0)20 7011 9869, or

Flame PR on +44 (0)20 3357 9740,

A Personal Recommendation Definition

(i) buying, selling, subscribing for or underwriting a particular investment which is a security or a relevant investment, or
(ii) exercising any right conferred by such an investment to buy, sell, subscribe for or underwrite such an investment;

About the Wealth Management Association (WMA)

  • The WMA is the trade association for firms that provide financial advice and investment services to help individuals and families prepare for the future, today.

We represent 180 wealth management firms and associate members that provide a range of financial solutions including financial advice, portfolio management, as well as investment and execution services. They assist everyone from individuals and families, to charities and pension funds, all the way to trusts and companies.

WMA members firms look after over £825 billion of wealth for over 2.2 million retail investors.

  • WMA firms operate across more than 580 sites, employing over 27,000 staff.

These firms also run over 5.5 million client portfolios and carry out over 20 million trades a year.