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Advisers must create a viable RDR alternative

Advisers need to come up with an alternative proposal to lobby the Government effectively over minimum qualification RDR requirements, says Cicero Consulting director Iain Anderson.

At a Money Marketing round table held last week as part of our Pave the Way to Save campaign, Anderson said the political momentum on the RDR was due to the sheer volume of letters received by MPs from their IFA constituents.

But he said the debate needs to progress from what IFAs do not like about the RDR to advisers coming up with a viable solution to their concerns.

Anderson said: “With any effective lobbying exercise, you should never just adopt the ’we do not like this’ approach. You must turn up saying ’we do not like this, so we propose that’. The alternative proposal to the RDR as it stands is not on the table with any clarity. From the IFA perspective, that is what needs to happen next. There needs to be a very clear articulation of what the alternative to the current roadmap looks like.”

He said the recent Parliamentary debate on the RDR, Treasury financial secretary Mark Hoban did not completely rule out the grandfathering option, saying he had “left more than a political chink of light for this to be looked at again”.

Aifa policy director Andrew Strange has reservations about whether grandfathering is the right transitional route for advisers. He argued that flexibility over the “cliff-edge” 2013 deadline and an increased focus on continuing professional development as evidence of competence were better routes.

Strange said: “The dictionary definition of grandfathering is a tick in the box that says you can carry on trading forever. I can understand the merit of someone who is an IFA in their 50s with 30 years’ experience with no complaints getting that tick in the box. However, if you do that, you also have to give a tick in the box to the person who has been an adviser in a bank in their 20s for two years.”

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