Barclays is calling on the FSA to exempt the high-net-worth advice market from the full RDR requirements, claiming these clients are more “financially sophisticated” than other retail consumers.
In its response to the Treasury select committee’s RDR consultation, Barclays says the RDR does not take adequate account of the “unique needs” of high-net-worth individuals.
The bank says it is not convinced that the FSA’s claim that the model for investment advice is broken applies for HNW individuals.
It says: “We have not seen convincing evidence of the FSA’s claim despite extending these rules to cover private wealth management. The high-net-worth market is highly competitive and involves internationally mobile clients who are often more financially sophisticated than retail clients.”
In January, the FSA fined Barclays £7.7m for failures relating to the sale of Aviva funds, which were first revealed by Money Marketing in April 2009.
Last month, Money Marketing revealed Barclays is closing its retail advice arm, Barclays Financial Planning, but will continue serving HNW clients through Barclays Wealth.
GAEIA Partnership director Helen Tandy says: “It is ludicrous for a company which has been fined so much to think it does not need to go down the RDR route. Better qualifications and clearer pay structures are equally applicable to HNW clients, they are not all financial whizzes.”