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FSA says advisers haven’t thought through RDR

The FSA has questioned whether the majority of respondents to the retail distribution review calling for independent to mean whole of market have thought “deeply enough” about the issue.

Speaking last week at an ABI conference in London, director of small firms Stephen Bland said even just two weeks into the RDR consultation it is “pretty clear on the majority view!”

He said the FSA asked the question over the relationship between independence and whole of market to provoke debate on the meaning of the word “independence” rather than because it wanted to make such a change at the moment.

“It has clearly provoked but I wonder whether many have really thought deeply enough about the question,” he said.

Bland also warned that the general financial adviser category, which would cover the majority of advisers, may be temporary unless the regulator gets its way over its controversial plans for capital adequacy and professional indemnity insurance.

He said higher prudential requirements may mitigate the risk of misselling with a greater commitment to ongoing business and incentives to control conflicts of interest. Bland said: “Without them, there would be less of a case for allowing general financial advisers to continue as a regulatory category of firms without a sunset clause of some type.”

He said FSA primary advice plans were among the “greenest of the green” proposals in the RDR and said primary advice might be a more profitable approach for many IFAs.


Fidelity looks to EMEA

Fidelity International has introduced a Luxemburg-based fund investing in emerging Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Cowman makes call for standard forms

Just Retirement protection manager Paul Cowman believes life offices should standardise their application forms to make it easier for advisers and clients to avoid non-disclosure.He said the mortgage and pension markets have produced common forms for products such as equity release and annuities, which have been a success.Cowman said: “It would make it easier for […]

FSA criticises inadequate product information

The FSA says providers and lenders are not offering enough product information to distributors and are providing inadequately trained service staff to handle adviser queries.In its Treating Customers Fairly in Product Design paper released this week, the FSA says it has worries over a lack of stress-testing of products.It says providers are relying on distributors […]

A lesson in education

Iam sure I was not the only IFA seething as Ed Balls was unveiled in his new Cabinet role. Balls has hardly disguised his contempt for IFAs, noting that he was surprised that so many had survived.Now he his ensconced as minister for children, schools and families and within days has announced an initiative to […]

Rise of the machines

Head of Sustainable Investing at Royal London Asset Management, Mike Fox, looks at the case for including artificial intelligence within a sustainable investment strategy. Read the article in full here The value of investments and the income from them is not guaranteed and may go down as well as up and investors may not get […]


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