The FSA has published a final version of its guidance on the most frequently asked questions at the RDR roadshows it held last summer.
It published its responses as a guidance consultation last August, and held a four-week consultation.
Following industry feedback, it has updated its guidance to provide more detailed responses.
Highlights of amended answers include the responsibilities of accredited bodies, and how they are expected to help adviser firms to comply with the RDR professionalism requirements.
The updated guidance also includes more detail on what the FSA considers to be structured continuing professional development. It notes structured CPD can include reading, but the FSA says it would only expect this to be used in a minority of of gap-fill or ongoing CPD activities.
It also sets out in more detail the criteria firms need to meet in order to call themselves independent.
One of the questions in the guidance asks whether a firm can still call itself independent if it has considered a product but does not feel comfortable recommending it due to its risky nature.
The FSA says: “We would not expect firms when forming advice for a client to review the market for a product that would not be suitable, let alone to recommend such a product.”
The guidance also sets out that firms can still give independent advice without the permission to advise on pension transfers and opt-outs.
The FSA adds: “Although our current message is that a firm should start by assuming a transfer or opt-out is not suitable for a retail client, all competent advisers who give independent advice should be able to identify clients for whom a pension transfer or opt-out should be considered, and be in a position to refer clients to an external pension transfer specialist if necessary.”
For the full guidance, visit: http://www.fsa.gov.uk/static/pubs/guidance/fg12-05.pdf