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Axa Life calls for RDR clarity

Axa Life is calling on the FSA to provide details of how it plans to deal with advice gaps that could arise due to the changes brought in by the retail distribution review.

AXA Life head of pensions and savings policy Steve Folkard says the FSA’s June paper must provide clarity in a number of areas if the industry is going to have a realistic chance of meeting the deadlines.

He says: “The elephant in the room is how to deal with the advice gap that could be left in the mass market if a smaller, but qualified, number of advisers focus up-market post-RDR.”

Folkard says there is concern about how companies will be able to offer some of the suggested solutions, such as guided sales, consistently, at a reasonable cost and with minimal risk.

He says: “No process which seeks to serve the needs of the many will ever eliminate all risk for the more specific needs of the few. Good outcomes for the majority are a realistic objective and one which is eminently achievable if the industry can demonstrate it has thought of how to minimise poor outcomes for the few.”

Folkard is also calling for greater clarity around adviser charging.

He says: “On disclosure, the scope of adviser charging needs to be clear so that systems work, for the outputs impacted, can be scoped and planned in. On more transparency for advice costs, clear guidance is needed to ensure fair and equal disclosure across multiple advice channels.”

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