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FSA: Over 70% of advisers are RDR qualified

Research from the FSA suggests over 70 per cent of advisers have already obtained an RDR appropriate qualification.

Speaking at an FT Intermediary Forum event in London yesterday, FSA head of investments Linda Woodall (pictured) revealed the results of the latest research carried out by the regulator to assess firms’ RDR readiness.

Out of 3,897 firms that responded to the FSA’s survey, 71 per cent say they are already RDR qualified, with a further 22 per cent studying.

A further 69 per cent of firms say they have developed and begun to implement a plan to be RDR compliant across all the requirements. The same proportion of firms told the FSA they have begun to tell their clients, or have told their clients, about changes under the RDR.

However the FSA notes that smaller firms are ahead in communicating the RDR changes to clients, with only 36 per cent of larger firms having done so.

The regulator has identified gap fill as a “weaker area” of RDR progress. Although 67 per cent of advisers need to gap fill, to date 39 per cent have completed it while 42 per cent are in the process of doing so and 19 per cent are yet to start.

Woodall said the number of firms who have yet to start implementing an adviser charging model “remains a big concern”.

The FSA’s survey found that 59 per cent of firms are relying on an adviser charging model, but among larger firms the figure drops to 32 per cent.

Woodall said the FSA is stepping up its assessment of firms’ RDR readiness, and says more face-to-face time with firms to review progress will be an “important part” of the regulator’s work this year.

She said: “We are visiting the larger firms whose business models are more complicated, such as banks, building societies, insurers and networks to make sure they will be ready.

“RDR implementation will appear on the agenda for our supervisory meetings, for both small and larger firms, to ensure that the market as a whole is moving together towards practical solutions that will lead to the best overall outcomes.”

Woodall said the FSA has held briefings with larger firms to discuss specific RDR implementation risks, such as life offices being able to provide RDR compliant products, and networks ensuring their appointed representatives meet the RDR requirements.

She said the regulator itself has also been working to communicate the RDR to consumers with a leaflet advisers can give to existing clients and by speaking to consumer groups.


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There are 46 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Complete and utter tosh!

  2. What do you want to bet Nic Cicutti likes the FSA leaflet ?

    I have never seen so bland and uninformative piece of twaddle.

  3. And Linda Woodall has what qualifications ?

  4. Thats a constructive and well thought out comment hugh. I was wondering what the classification of a small firm is? I understand the need to deal directly with the larger firms due to the market impact but are the smaller firms going to be limited to roadshows?

  5. So when does she start her exams, I wonder?

  6. Let’s be honest here, when did you ever know the FSA to be right or tell the trurh.

    More like 70% ain’t dooing it….

  7. But how many of those 70% have since come to the conclusion that there is no future in being an IFA. I suspect a fair proportion.

    It’s time to get out.

  8. I asked over a 100 IFA’s and none of them have completed FSA survey again the FSA is talking out of their Ass

  9. Mmmm…

    An anagram of Linda Woodall is ‘Low anal dildo’.

    Enough said….



  10. And what exactly does that mean to both the quality of advice to the consumer and will this stop people being given bad advice or products failing?

    Answers on a postcard to the FSA !!

  11. There you go! A questionnaire is sent out, and data is selectively publicised to suit/endorse the agenda for RDR.

    Quote ‘Woodall said the number of firms who have yet to start implementing an adviser charging model “remains a big concern”…I wonder why that is? Perhaps the FSA may want to ask themselves that very question, although I suspect that they know why, but are choosing not to listen!!

  12. I have no idea who they ‘surveyed’. I know of several IFAs who intend to stay in the industry who have not even started studying yet !!!No body I know is fuly qualified yet, including me. I think this is the FSA and their CII cronies trying to talk up the market.

  13. chris wilkinson 18th April 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Read an article yesterday that 1400 advisers have still yet to start studying!

    70% is probably because most of the advisers have gone which pushes up the percentage of the ones left!!!!!

  14. Great! I’m really impressed – NOT!!!
    Percentage of what? How many advisers have already left the industry?
    How many advisers where there say….. 4 years ago?
    How mand ‘qualified’ advisers remain?
    Give us that percentage!!!! Don’t try to cover your back withe selective reports that you always do. If you were an IFA you would be thrown out for massaging the figures.

  15. David McCullough 18th April 2012 at 2:32 pm

    The headline and first paragraph do not mean the same thing…What they may mean is that 70% of advisers have one or more of the exams required.Still a long long way to go.

  16. how can 70% (firms) be qualified if 67% (advisors) need gap fill?

    and 70% of what? firms who havnt yet been forced out?

    Also less than 4000 firms responded, this isnt news, its propaganda.

  17. It’s not the adviser’s they should be concerned about, the majority of my clients have to be advised of the benefits of saving for pensions or taking out protection policies. None of these people are waking up every morning looking at their to do list and No1 is

    start a pension phone IFA.

    they certainly don’t want to pay for advice.
    I’m RDR ready and qualified by the way, but i think i’m ready to knock this on the head another 5 years it will be QCF level 6 and more than likely we will all be working for life offices selling tied products decided by a decision tree.

    sounds good actually.

    I hear tesco are recruiting.

  18. Rubbish report. My guess is that when RDR is in place 100% of advisers will be qualified. Why? Because you can’t be an adviser if you are not qualified. See – rubbish report from Linda of the FSA, it’s like saying that 100% of people who aren’t dead are alive. Keep them comming.

  19. Incompetent Regulators Award Team 18th April 2012 at 3:06 pm


  20. So she’s stepping up assessment of firms’ RDR readiness is she. Well, I suggest she leaves those of us who want to be RDR ready to leave us to get on with the job, rather than breathing down our backs like some ‘Big Brother – or in her case Big Sister. As far as I’m concerned, these jokers couldn’t even run a whelk stall, let alone opine upon our readiness for RDR.
    For god’s sake, get a proper job.

  21. It’s nice to see a change to the usual moaning comments left in response to any article that isn’t anti-RDR.

    Don’t we all think it’s about time to just get on with the job in hand and spend our time obtaining our qualifications and building fee-based business models instead of constantly berating and condemning any article or comment that has a good thing to say about the current or future shape of the industry?

  22. I know 11 advisers,

    2 have left the industry
    1 does life and mortgages so isn’t affected
    3 are RDR ready
    5 are not

    makes a bit of a nonsense of those figures!

  23. @ Anon 3:31

    To answer your question NO !!

    It may not be British to lose your stiff upperlip but arn’t you fed up with being treated like an idiot by these mumpties ?

    Are we all just expected to fall in line and accept crap that RDR will bring (or brought) and suffer the ramblings of the likes of Woodall, Smith etc etc etc.

  24. @Annon 3.33pm. I too know 11 other IFA’s. None have left yet but 4 are going at year end. 1 also does life and mortgage biz. 2 are qualified and the other 4 are nearly there. Problem is that none of us have got a clue about how to go about the adviser charging model to make it work for profit.

  25. Justin Credible 18th April 2012 at 4:40 pm

    At last! Here we have some figures which we know with absolute, unequivocal and assured certainty are complete and utter rubbish – 70% ready????? (Even if it were true it would mean that over 1 in 4 aren’t – statistics eh?). This shows why whenever they carry out some sort of analysis they base their opinions on tosh, which feeds into their decision making process. Whish produces……
    As for judging my readiness, why not get yourselves ready first so I can finalise what I have to get ready for?
    At some point on the journey I may give the client what they want, some advice…… None yet have asked for my policies, procedures, manuals, registers, matrices but then, what do those in Ivory Towers splurging other peoples’ money really know about it? As adequately demonstrated by this latest ‘release’ – n’owt!

  26. Tyburn Asset Management 18th April 2012 at 4:49 pm

    70% sounds a bit high but I would wager that 50% are already qualified.

    From 1st Jan 2013 I will no longer be able to deal with any clients who have less than £100k to invest as it’s no longer viable and £100k has to be the absolute minimum. As things stand I am able to conduct financial reviews for clients on the basis that many of them will choose the commission route and setting up insurance/pension plans for them makes it worthwhile to me (and to them!).

    Leaving no mechanism for these people (the majority) to receive advice is a disaster. I agree standards in the industry needed to be lifted however IFAs generally have a good reputation and there was no need to change the status quo.

    You can now see the savings gap grow and watch the richest 5% of people in the UK become richer compared to the rest.

  27. Having been in this business over 20 years, I know the IFA community is a) very moany and b) very adaptable.

    We shall continue to see whinging on a daily basis on forums like this, but at the start of next year 90% of IFAs will continue on…..

  28. @Tyburn You are quite right, there is no mechanism for ordinary people to get advice (you can discount the MAS). It endemic as when you attended a seminar in the past, the examples always given were concerning High Networth Individuals and never John Doe. We had to adapt our advice to include the poor (read ordinary people) and now these people will not be coached in financial life skills (again you can discount the MAS as any ‘advice’ they give has to be generic, wishy washy so as they cannot be held responsible). When the RDR is finally enacted, the financial well being of the masses will be gone and it will take decades to recover from the RDR folly. Which & other consumer groups will have cried wolf once too often and the misguided FSA will have destroyed the economy.

  29. In answer to IFA 5.04pm. I too have been in business over 20 years and have offered my clients fees for that long also. Still doesn’t mean I think RDR is the answer or will solve amny of the past problems we have. I see no proff of that at all and at least after 20 years I am man enough to disclose who I am, what do you fear ?

  30. Matt Worthington 18th April 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Just to throw this out there – I’m getting level 4 qualified from scratch, and it’s not exactly difficult. For any experienced and competent adviser it should be a walk in the park.

    I know there’s also time,money, revision and out-of-the-office periods involved in booking and sitting the exams, but nothing excessive. I’ve funded most of my exams myself so far but I’m sure most will fund their level 4 qualification through their business/employer.

    Is this post-RDR qualification business actually half as bad as most comments make out? Discuss.

  31. I hate the FSA and everything they stand for. I hate every single statement they make and the way they lie and twist statistics for their own benefit.

    They should all be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

    They are total low life and the reason that this business will shortly cease to exist.

  32. Matt Worthington, you’re a heretic

    First you go and state that getting to Level 4 isn’t hard, true but inconvenient for some.

    Then you commit the ultimate sin in blogging using your own name!

    Next you’ll be questioning whether clients really do want their IFAs to take 8% commission on an investment bond!

    You won’t last!

  33. This survey was emailed to directly authorised IFAs. However there was no check made on the answers so I assume many IFAs who have not made a start on their exams were not going to say so to the FSA. They would just say what the FSA wanted to hear and the FSA have just accepted the responses as gospel! From my experience 70% are definately not already qualified and are still hoping it will all go away!!

  34. Stephen Rowland 18th April 2012 at 6:28 pm

    I don’t doubt that many experienced IFA’S could easily potentially reach level 4 (& even beyond) – but the thing is- it is the PRINCIPLE OF RDR that grates. Would a Solicitor, Doctor Accountant etc retake exams after practising 20 years or more
    Also with going ‘up-market (in the case of my own client-bank anyway) It’s like putting a PORSHE dealer in BANGKOK! You just aren’t going to make any money – so what’s the point!

    If you do or are lucky enough to make any money / living – the FSA will take it off you due to the drastic reduction in IFA’S and ever expanding compliance’ !A no win situation really!

  35. @Matt. You haven’t passed your exams as yet, so on what basis are you a judge of the process? By all means level a judgement when, like some of the rest of us, you have actually passed ALL of the exams.

    By the way, the last stage is far from being a shoe-in, but good luck with it and prepare your time well, you will need every second, as there is such a thing as being over-confident, hopefully you are not!

  36. As Victor would say; ” I don’t believe it”.

    I can point to at least a dozen advisers I personally know who are still taking exams and who have still to qualify at level 4. I think they’re playing games at the FSA and it’s not funny.

  37. Evan if just one decent IFA goes out of business the RDR will have failed.

  38. Did the FSA say “Are level 4 qualified” or have a level 4 qualification? As that is different.
    Take the CII for example, their R0 papers are level 4, but you have to have somethiong like 6 papers to become level 4 qualified.
    There must be loads of advisers out there who have a single diploma paper at level 4, which does not make them fully qualified, nor mean they intend staying in the industry.
    I thought I’d finished my diploma last year as I had 143 points through the CII of the 140 needed, 80 at diploma but they do not provide any credit value for the 5 certificate points of home reversion plan qualification I had (never sold one), but they do for pension simplification! Despite the fact Hoem reversion hasn’t changed much, but pension simplification has! So I apparantly only have 137 of the 140 points, but ALL gaps are filled already. Next month I’ll do another 10 point exam (R05), simply to make sure I’ve got the points they want. I’ll then go back to studying exams to actually benefit my clients/myself and not just simply to be able to remain in business!

  39. FSA appear to be competing with the government on unemployment it would be interesting to see just how many advisers will have become unemployed as a result of RDR especially those older more experienced who are unable to grasp some of the higher level knowledge which they have never needed and after qualification would still never use.
    Clients want to be advised at their level plain English and not overly complicated how on earth will they understand when we are getting to the stage where we are struggling.

  40. I am 60, have been in this buiness 43 years.
    I am self employed the exams are not easy for me.
    So off to Tesco I think now, my customers will have no adviser or worse still have to go to the bank.

  41. RDR Ready?

    Advisers = Some
    Clients = Most certainly not

    Even if the FSA figures were right they have missed the point that large percentage of clients are NOT going to accept this model. As a result business failure will increase banks will prosper and clients suffer. Leaving fewer numbers IFA’s to service profitable clients.

    Being RDR ready will not save you, its a boat taking you to Normandy where the fight to survive will begin.

  42. @ anonymous who said: “When the RDR is finally enacted, the financial well being of the masses will be gone and it will take decades to recover from the RDR folly. Which & other consumer groups will have cried wolf once too often and the misguided FSA will have destroyed the economy.”

    It’s scary that anyone with so little grip of reality as to spout such potty nonsense should be allowed to advise *anyone*.

    Doctors, lawyers, etc are not being asked to obtain better qualifications because they already have them – as a result of a degree and 6+ years training in the case of a doctor.

    Most IFAs do not. No educational requirements and just level 3 (equivalent of City and Guilds for hairdressing) is not a serious qualification for giving advice.

    If we expect the industry to be taken seriously then proper qualifications are required, way higher than now. Anyone who can’t obtain at least level 4 with ease *should* be looking for a job stacking shelves or selling windows.

  43. Being qualified for RDR doesnt mean that all these advisers are going to stay in the industry!

    There are only a finite number of clients willing to pay fees even High Net Worth clients often prefer the commission route to an explicit fee so the chaos post RDR will be a sight to see.

  44. @ PeterD | 20 Apr 2012 12:14 pm

    Yes we all know that you can work at McDonalds and get a level 3 qualifcation. But comparing that qualification to the old FPC is rather unfair. (I cant think of one McDonalds employee i have ever come across being capable of passing the old FPC) I personally found the RO exams a walk over, but i remember that FPC 2 was a nightmare!

  45. @ PeterD | 20 Apr 2012 12:14 pm
    You quote me and them attribute that I implied I said that Doctors & Lawyers don’t have to obtain further qualifications – I didn’t – that was another contributor. What I was saying was that access to advice was being removed from the masses by RDR and implying that their future financial well being was put in jeopardy. This in turn will mean that future generations will have to rely on the state as they will not be making provision for savings, life cover, retirement etc. and when they need this, the state will have to provide. You think this is potty? well when it hits the fan, it will be!!!!

  46. I have started studying but am no where near yet, and I know several other advisers in the same position. I don’t think that the FSA care and will only listen to what suits them.

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