Genovo Suitability Report ESG-related content updates September 2023

Genovo Suitability Report ESG-related content updates September 2023

Team Genovo

Continuing from our year-long review of Genovo content, we’ve since turned our attention to Genovo’s content supporting sustainable investing. However, we quickly realised that explaining sustainable investing to clients is not easy, so we sought out industry experts and asked for help!

Lee Coates OBE and Elly Dowding created ESG Accord and the newly launched Accord Initiative. ESG Accord is an organisation that delivers support to advice firms transitioning to include ESG and sustainability in their advice processes. As well as consultancy and training and being a part of the FCA’s Disclosures and Labels advisory group, part of their offering is the Accord Initiative which is a provider-backed free to access online resource to help advice firms. We figured that if Elly and Lee couldn’t help, nobody could! They said:

We’ve built our free to access Suitability Framework for all advisers, clients and funds.  It is about delivering good client outcomes, as required by Consumer Duty. The Framework provides advisers with everything they need to help clients make an informed choice, whether that is to invest in ESG / sustainable / ethical funds, or to instruct their advisers not to include these funds in their recommendations. Consumer Duty requires advisers to demonstrate that whatever decision a client makes about their investment preferences and objectives, that choice is an informed one. Holding this information on file leads neatly into using Genovo to deliver compliant suitability wording.”

We’ve now adopted all ESG Accord’s feedback and updated the Genovo report content accordingly. It’s not just descriptions of ESG that have been tweaked – it’s clarifying the supporting wording around client preferences, informed choice, disadvantages and risk warnings – the reach is significant.

Summary of updates

Here’s a summary of all the updates that have been applied to the Genovo suitability report app to improve the compliance and clarity around sustainable investing.

Advice Options and Reasons Library

We have made changes to Genovo Advice Options and Advice Reasons in the following sections / steps.

SectionStepUpdate
IntroductionClient ObjectivesModified objectives to include 'investment preferences' wording.
Review of Client ObjectivesModified objectives to include ‘investment preferences’ wording.
Review of Your Existing Pension Plans

Review of Your Existing Retirement Income Plans

Review of Your Existing Investments
Recommended Action – ‘Retain’Modified advice reasons to include ‘investment preferences’ wording.
Recommended Investment StrategyWhy Investment StrategyAdded a new advice reason to support sustainable investing.

Please remember that any previous client report or any report templates owned by you or your company that used any of the above Advice Options or Advice Reasons will retain the Advice Option or Advice Reason in its original form. You should therefore be careful if you use an existing client report or a report template as the basis for creating a new report. Note that this also applies to any of yours or your company’s report templates that were created by cloning a Genovo report template – several Genovo templates used Advice Options and Advice Reasons that have now been amended. The Genovo templates have been updated, but these changes won’t automatically apply to any cloned copies.

Report Content Manager

Report Type(s)Section(s)Snippet NameUpdate
Suitability ReportIntroductionYour financial knowledge and experienceThe content has been reviewed and updated to incorporate the phrase ‘able to make informed decisions’ – a key consideration under Consumer Duty.
Suitability Report

Review Report 2.0

Top-up / Bed & ISA

Fund Switch
Recommended Investment Strategy / Client Risk ProfileESG InvestingThe sub heading has been renamed ‘Socially responsible investing’, and the content has been reviewed and updated.

Please remember the changes we make to the report template will only take effect in your reports automatically if the Genovo version of the snippet is selected as active in your Report Content Manager (it is by default).  For more information about the Report Content Manager and updating of snippets check out this video tutorial.

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