A lot has been written over the years about suitability reports and the need to control their length. Both the FCA and FOS have also stressed on a number of occasions that you don’t have to include absolutely everything in your suitability reports, and they have even suggested that it can be good practice not to do so!

Clearly you need to be able to evidence the reasons for your recommendations. However, from a regulatory perspective this can often be achieved just as well via a separate document (a copy of which can be held on the client’s file) as it can be by including the information contained in that document in the actual suitability report. You may however wish to reference and refer the client to the document from within the report, and this is what is commonly called 'signposting'.

The benefits of signposting

There are numerous benefits to signposting including:

  1. The original source material (e.g the portfolio fact sheet) is often presented in a more reader-friendly and engaging, and “glossy” format.
  2. Helps control the length of the report.
  3. Allows documentation (e.g the portfolio fact sheet) to be created, managed and updated by a centralised function or third party in isolation to the report, and “slotted in” to the advice process as and when required.
  4. Keeps bulky generic information out of the report which only serves to distract the reader from what’s really important i.e how and why your recommendations reflect the client’s circumstances and objectives.
  5. Provides clear evidence that this information has been issued to the client.

How to signpost to other documents in Genovo

The Supporting Information step within the Important Information section has been specifically designed to allow you to signpost the reader to other documents that you have furnished them with.

A number of typical documents are included as standard. However, as with any Advice Option step, you can always add your own selectable options and share them with the team.