Positive Solutions has raised concerns that maintaining independence may be outside advisers’ control owing to concerns such as exclusions on professional indemnity insurance.
Speaking at a Defaqto RDR conference in London last week, PosSol head of operational risk Ricky McKinney said: “There are some issues around PI cover and the ability of an adviser firm to call itself independent if it has exclusions. If you have exclusions and you want to be independent you have to ensure you do not restrict your choice.”
McKinney also pointed to the impact on independence of provider business models that restrict adviser access to certain products.
He said: “Advisers need to make sure they have access to all products. There are some factors that are not in advisers’ control.”
The FSA’s final guidance on independent and restricted advice, published last month, says advisers with limited product access may still call themselves independent if they have access to comparable products.
It also said PI exclusions are not a valid reason to ignore products.
Page Russell director Tim Page says: “Issues with maintaining independence are not an excuse to go restricted, but to exclude certain providers as part of due diligence.”