Sants will tell Aifa members at the trade body’s annual dinner that it does not have an “anti-IFA agenda” and that any vibrant and innovative market must have a strong small firm component.
Sants will say: “I want to emphasise that we recognise the real value that IFAs add for consumers, and the contribution that you make to the outcomes we are seeking. And finally, I want to demonstrate to you that we do listen and that we are aware of the concerns that are expressed by Aifa as well as by others in the industry.”
Sants will pledge the FSA will not jump to premature conclusions and that it is still very much in listening mode.
He will say: “I understand there have been times when we have not made our intentions, or our motives for those intentions, sufficiently clear, which can call into question the FSA’s accountability and transparency. This is something that we are consciously looking to improve, although I think it is fair to say that many of these concerns stretch back to the days of our predecessor regulators.”
He will say he believes a successful RDR model must be simple, easy for the consumer to understand, flexible enough to encourage competition and offer the opportunity of a fair economic return.
He will say advisers should see the RDR as an opportunity not a threat through improving professionalism, showing consumers the value of advice and increasing the sustainable value of their businesses.
“We are asking the industry to be visionary about the future of distribution rather than seeing the proposals in the context of today’s market,” he will say.
Sants will also tell members there will be a “significant enhancement” to its supervision strategy and a 25 per cent increase in the number of small firm supervisors.
He also will say there will be a significant corresponding increase in enforcement resources to ensure it can take the appropriate action against “those that harm the market’s reputation”.