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Gale wants IFAs to embrace inevitable change

Aegon distribution board chairman Patrick Gale has urged advisers to embrace the RDR despite a growing momentum in Parliament to challenge the review and its impact.

Gale, who chairs the board overseeing Aegon distribution businesses Origen and Positive Solutions, says the current Parliamentary debate is irrelevant as the RDR will go ahead regardless.

Speaking at the Chartered Insurance Institute RDR conference last week, Gale said: “Frankly, we have no choice but to accept the regulatory framework. Whether we like it or not, it is coming and I do not really care how many MPs might stand up at the 11th hour and call for change while others call for grandfathering.

“They are not going to get it, so we might as well embrace the regulatory change and get on with it.”

Despite his call for advisers to embrace regulatory change, Gale does have concerns that the number of firms forced out of the market by the RDR could lead to consumers going without advice where once they would have had access to it.

He said: “It is fairly obvious from a client’s perspective that the contraction of IFAs is worrying. There are a lot of IFAs who will struggle with gaining qualifications but who provide a pretty good service to their clients.

“I do genuinely believe that in five to 10 years’ time, clients will value advice more. But I believe that the initial journey over the next few years will be very tough.

“A lot of clients could therefore exit the advice market, meaning a bigger advice gap, a bigger protection gap and a bigger savings gap.”

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