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Campaign aims to explain RDR

The FSA is planning a consumer communications campaign to explain the RDR changes to the advice market but will not reveal how much it will cost.

In its report on the RDR, the Treasury select committee raised concerns over clarity of the independent and restricted adviser labels and called on the regulator to provide “significant resources” to explain the change to consumers.

In its formal response to the report this week, the FSA says it will work with consumer bodies to deliver its message. It says: “We intend to roll out a consumer communications plan to help ensure they are aware of the new labels and what they mean, as well as other changes the RDR will bring.”

An FSA spokeswoman says the project will be funded by the communications department. She refuses to confirm the expenditure. It will make videos for its website and will seek “external comment opportunities” to communicate the changes.

The committee said the campaign is necessary because consumers should know the difference between tied, restricted and independent advice.

In July, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme admitted its three-month £4m advertising campaign had failed. The Department for Work and Pensions intends to spend £10m on a auto-enrolment communications drive.

IFA Life founder Phil Calvert says: “It would take significant resources to communicate the implications of the RDR to consumers clearly and concisely. I do not think anyone has that sort of budget in today’s climate.

“IFAs have a golden opportunity to educate and inform people locally through articles, blogs, seminars, radio interviews, news releases and social media.”

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