Speaking on board the PIMS conference last week, FSA RDR associate William Tolmie told delegates not to worry about the transition process.
He said: “We are challenging firms to make the case for FSA action to implement their ideas in a way that deliver better outcomes for consumers and not to worry about the transition.
“We do not know what the transition period will be because we do not know what the end state will be. But we do recognise that transitional arrangements will be necessary, for example, because qualifications take time to acquire.
“One of the questions for tied and multi-tied advisers is what are the barriers to moving out of that intersection and into one of the two things either side? That is the kind of information that we need to analyse before the next stage of the review.”
Chartered Insurance Institute head of policy and public affairs David Thomson says: “We need a reasonable and a sensible transition period of between four and six years. Assuming the benchmark ends up being QCA level 4 or the CII diploma equivalent, we believe the FSA should allow four years for people to reach that level and a further two years for those who have not quite made it to continue to strive for the qualification under supervision.
“It is really important that the FSA gives a clear indication of when the starting gun is. October would be a sensible time to set out a timetable for the transition period as there is a danger to leaving it much longer as people need clarity.”