Treasury select committee chair Andrew Tyrie has raised concerns that the advice gap resulting from the RDR poses a risk of consumer detriment.
Speaking at the Apfa annual dinner in London last night, Tyrie said there is “now a risk, possibly a considerable risk, of consumer detriment” as a result of the “marked” reduction in adviser numbers and the number of providers which have left the advice market since the RDR.
But he said it is too early for the Treasury select committee to review the impact of the RDR.
He said the committee recommended the FCA carry out regular reports on levels of saving through independent advice and adviser numbers following the introduction of the RDR, and intends to hold the regulator to that.
But Tyrie said: “Should the TSC restart the investigation? Not now.
“The RDR has only been going for about a year, and it will take at least two years for the full impact of the changes to work through the profession. And in any case, the FCA is carrying out its thematic review of the RDR and I think we need to see that.”
Tyrie also hit out at the regulator for relying too heavily on “mindless data collection” to “mind its back”.
He said: “We have far too much box ticking and mindless data collection and absence of the use of judgment by regulators in demanding information from the regulated community.
“That really has to end. We have to have more intelligent reporting requirements, and we have to use judgment to identify risk.
“Far too much box ticking has gone on with the view to regulators minding their backs rather than focusing on what they are really trying to look for.”
Tyrie also reiterated the TSC’s call for a freeze on regulatory levies for existing regulator responsibilities, and emphasised the importance of competition and innovation in creating a well-functioning market.
He said regulators do not want to see more competition, “whatever they say”, because they want “less uncertainty about the regulated community”.
He said that on competition, the FCA’s “spirit is willing, but its flesh is a little weak”.