Aegon says advisers should not have to cover all areas of investment to be considered independent as long as they can refer clients to another adviser within their firm for specialist advice.
The FSA is aiming to broaden the definition of retail investment products covered by the independent standard to include unregulated collective investments, investment trusts, structured products and other investments with exposure to underlying financial assets.
In its response to the RDR, Aegon agrees with the FSA’s plan to broaden the standard but says firms should be allowed to operate a referral service for specialist areas. Head of business regulation Steven Cameron says a referral service for alternative investment advice could help to boost consumer confidence.
He says: “Some of the new forms of investment will seldom be recommended for the majority of clients but, where advisers think it is appropriate to recommend further specialist advice, it could have a positive effect on consumer confidence.”