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FSA refunds due if partially to blame for RDR, says Clarkson Hill

IFA groups should be refunded their FSA fees if the regulator is sharing the blame over the problems of retail distribution, says Clarkson Hill Group.

At the national IFA firm’s annual conference, held today at the Druid’s Glen resort in County Wicklow, Ireland, chief executive Ron Pritchard lashed out at the regulator over the RDR.

He said: “Sir Callum told the industry last year at Gleneagles that the FSA was part of the problem. Last year our FSA costs were £487,000. This year they will be £540,000. If that is the case, how about that refund?

“Of course I will pay our regulator but I do have concerns about accountability and how the money is being spent.”

Pritchard says he agrees wholeheartedly with improving professional standards but says large groups like Clarkson Hill, currently with over 300 advisers, could do more in encouraging their RIs towards gaining more qualifications if they were given clearer guidance as to which qualifications were the right ones.

He said: “So, what outcome to I foresee? There is a need for greater professionalism but the experience of current advisers is significant. I think grandfathering is a good thing. Groups like ours can help internally with improving qualifications if we knew which qualifications we should be striving towards.”

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