He said: “True polarisation is not between an IFA and restricted advice, it is between investment and protection. The qualities needed of a wealth manager are very different to the qua- lities needed to deliver a protection or critical-illness policy.
“The opportunity we have as an industry today is to rebrand this terminology of IFA in the UK. There is nothing to stop you as an IFA under the RDR being fee-based and whole of market for investment and being restricted on protection.”
Ernst & Young director of financial services, insurance, Malcolm Kerr agreed that, with the proliferation of the internet, there has been “a significant move towards non-advised protection sales”. He said: “I can see clients not wanting to pay fees and intermediaries not wanting to get involved in the area.”
Independent consultant John Cowan said business models will emerge that offer both whole of market investment advice on a fee basis and restricted advice on protection.
He said: “I think a business structure can be built where the clients pays a fee sometimes and buys a product sometimes.”
Informed Choice chief executive Nick Bamford added: “Why not run that dual model, as long as it is not disadvantageous to the client?”
But Legal & General RDR and commercial director of savings Danny Wynn said: “I think if you are selling a financial plan and financial advice then protection should be considered alongside investments, otherwise you are a wealth adviser, not an IFA.”