Research’s role is unequivocally set out in the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Thematic Review document1 as defining the difference between good and bad advice.

It puts suitability at the centre of advice and, by extension, advisers’ key contribution. There are too many emotional facets, compromises and complexities in advice for it to be automated any time soon, but research can and should be automated. The FCA talks about a “culture of challenge” in which research is on tap and constantly reviewed, and decisions are made on the best information available.

Advice depends on research and there are factors that make research effective:

  • Access to all the relevant information, either at point of sale or review
  • Interoperability of systems, where tools are aligned and able to share data
  • Key processes can be automated and streamlined to provide robust, repeatable and reliable illustrations and evidence to support recommendations
  • Research reflects the very best, academically-rigorous methodologies that have been market-proven through multiple market cycles
  • Intuitive and easy-to-use tools providing research that keeps the adviser fully compliant and able to engage with clients to formulate the best recommendations for their circumstances
  • Research is reliable enough for clients to base their understanding and informed consent on it.

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