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Aifa calls for flexibility over RDR deadline


Aifa has called for greater flexibility over the RDR deadline as part of an eight point plan to improve the review’s delivery.

Speaking last night at the All Party Parliamentary Group on Insurance and Financial Services session – which examined the impact of the RDR on advisers – Aifa director general Stephen Gay said the FSA should take a reasonable attitude toward those who engage with the process but do not make the deadline.

He said: “I would like the Financial Services Authority to provide some degree of reassurance they will take a reasonable attitude to those whose genuine best endeavours do not make the deadline.”

Gay also called for the FSA to be clear about how it would ensure a level playing field between banks advisers and IFAs over charging and for them to release an implementation plan for the review which outlines success criteria, assesses any risks and sets out mitigating actions the regulator will take to ensure the RDR achieves its stated outcomes.

FSA director of conduct policy Sheila Nicoll said she agrees with a number of points raised by Gay during his presentation but said announcing flexibility over the deadline now would remove the impetus for advisers to reach QCF Level 4 by January 1 2013.

She said: “I think you can understand I am not going to say now, yes of course we will be reasonable, because that would not be fair on the people who are getting on with it.”

Gay said he was not confident of an agreement with the FSA over the calls, despite the FSA’s flexibility in the past over the qualification level required by RDR as well as the specifics of fee charging.

In response to the question, which was asked by Labour MP and Treasury select committee member Andy Love, Gay said: “No I am not confident, and I am not happy that agreement can be reached.

“We are closer to each other on core principles but the devil was always going to be in the detail with RDR.”

Gay’s other requests were that the question of liability long stop be addressed to ensure that advisory firms can be sold on as going concerns; that the FSA make good on its concept of regulatory dividends and that it dust off its original consumer access objective and take a more pro-active role in developing a regime which allows greater numbers to access advice.

He also asked that the regulator re-think the question of provider factoring on regular premiums to avoid damaging the regular savings market and for everyone involved in the RDR to do all they can to support advisers reaching QCF level 4.

Nicoll said the FSA was continuing to provide support and educational materials to advisers across the whole market.

Nicoll said: “I would link Stephen’s point about being reasonable as the deadline comes with recognising that all stakeholders who are involved now need to give as much support to everybody as we possibly can.”


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There are 8 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.


    So its the Nicholls & Gay Farse! Ms Nicoll has a new concern i.e. that relaxing the deadline would be unfair for advisers who have already taken steps to meet the RDR requirements. Come on with a projected £1.7b cost you can do better than that?

    But don’t worry its pantomime season and AIFA is right behind you! Stephen Gay (AIFA) has hit the ground running (backwards) by nailing his colours to the mast (white flag). Gay again warns of the evils of grandfathering and the unfairness towards advisers who have already acquired higher qualifications.

    Of course Gay was very pro tied advice when part of Norwich “Onion”. Maybe Gay is looking for a big Christmas present from Nicholl, compulsory membership of a professional body to arrest the exodus of disenchanted IFAs?

    I find this new found concern for level 4 advisers beggars belief compared with the thousands of businesses and support staff that will be wound up for failing to meet this deadline.

    Come on Mrs Gay you can do much better than this!

  2. I am not really bothered about what Stephen Gay says anymore. I feel he has no credibility in his current role at AIFA and he should go back to being a tied agent, which is where I think his heart lies.
    I am interested, though, in the news that the European Parliament is beginnining to get interested in this whole issue. I see one Italian MEP feels the RDR is “an example of psycho-rigid Stalinist piece of legislation” according to Financial Adviser this week.

  3. Exactly Mr Mansell!

    Since 1988 we have had persistent failures by the FSA in it’s core duty of protecting the customer, savings and life assurance have gone down, pensions black hole from people not making provision, massive miss-selling by banks, Independent, Equitable, etc. etc.

    The criminal law was already adequate to cope with the fraudsters, so where are we now? A discredited and ill-thought out RDR, which the FSA board was too proud to drop.

    Well done lads! Have a Christmas party and bonuses!

  4. Who could do anything other than agree with Simon and Norm.

  5. Once again Simon Mansell get it SPOT ON !

  6. Err … that might be me …

  7. Truly the stuff of farce and nonsense.

    Put simply, AIFA does not speak for the IFA population and the sooner ALL realise that the better.

    AIFA should not now be given a platform to speak on behalf of those they supposedly represent by the regulator, government, TSC or anybody else come to that. They are a spent force, badly informed, woefully lacking in knowledge of the real issues and who backed the wrong horse. Consign them to the bin and history.

  8. It’s Hector Sant(oclause) followed by the . Hectors Panto season. Should Hector Panto will be appearing in: The Ghost of Independence Past!

    Hector pulls another cracker! The biggest joke yet falls out. Have you heard about the Three Adviser Australian Survey?

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