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Garnier wants to hear from pro-RDR IFAs

Treasury select committee member Mark Garnier has urged pro-RDR advisers to contribute to the committee’s consultation.

Speaking at a question and answer session at a PanaceaIFA RDR event in the City of London recently, Conservative MP Garnier said the committee needed to know the true balance of IFA sentiment because trade and professional bodies are claiming MPs are only hearing from a vocal minority.

He said: “On the one hand, you have IFAs coming out and saying, please listen to us. On the other, bodies like Aifa and the Chartered Insurance Institute are saying, actually that is not the case, they are a vocal minority coming forward and saying one thing when our members are saying something completely different.”

Garnier said for every 100 negative letters he receives on the RDR, he receives one positive letter. He said he wants to test that ratio.

He said: “If you do have people who have got strong feelings, get them to contribute because it gives balance to the debate.”

Garnier asked advisers who do contribute to make sure their arguments are backed up with facts and data so they can be used effectively by the select committee in its consultation.

He said: “We are a pretty dull bunch around the committee, we tend to need data and facts and clearly there is a lot of emotion out there in terms of what is happening to your community, we get all that, but we need evidence.”

Work and pensions select committee member and Conservative MP Harriett Baldwin said the RDR was “clearly biased” towards bigger institutions and would deliver an advantage to banks and she also reiterated her concern that the evidence base for the introduction of higher qualifications was weak.

Advisers’ comments on online article, MPs call for pro-RDR IFAs to speak up

While improving qualifications is good as a long-term goal, the levels set should not be so excessive as to potentially take many advisers with great experience out of the industry. Customer-agreed remuneration will be of negligible benefit to the consumer in receiving quality advice and may discourage many who need advice from seeking it.
Mark Smith

I visited my MP at Portcullis House a few weeks ago to argue for the unchanged implementation of the RDR. My MP is an ex-member of the Treasury select committee but did not seem very engaged and I doubt he attended the debate. He said he had heard nothing – positive or negative – from any of his other constituents so I sensed he was less than interested.
Joel Adams

I am pro-RDR. I think a fair way of handling this is to extend the diploma cliff-edge deadline up to 2015, this will give a further four years for everyone to reach the required standard. I believe if this was proposed, then very few IFAs would leave the industry apart from the IFAs who were planning a retirement exit in any case. I firmly believe standards of knowledge need to rise but, with levels of consumer saving so low, IFA numbers must not be lowered. There is no doubt if the RDR goes ahead on its current timeline, IFA numbers will fall and that can only be bad for consumer savings levels.
Tyburn Asset Management

There just may be a reason why he has not heard from any pro-RDR IFAs. Are there any?
Barry Davis

Very few of us would argue with the aims of the RDR. It is the implementation that is the problem. While agreeing with the goals and believing that my business will do well in a post-RDR environment, I have written to the Treasury select committee opposing the RDR. The FSA could achieve most of its goals with a more humane approach. It is not necessary to trample on people’s livelihoods to increase professionalism.
Tom Scott

Perhaps the FSA is well intentioned with the RDR and raising standards, etc. However, with issues such as conflicts with European Legislation, legalities, VAT (HMRC conflict), Parliamentary concerns, poor timing, outrage from those affected and, most important, Millennium Dome-type costs and budgets, perhaps it needed a little more ’consultation’, before being cut loose on the unsuspecting public.
Anthony Badaloo

The examinations are flawed, in that they seem to focus on issues that will affect a very small minority of the public. I would rather see an open-book approach and case studies so advisers are demonstrating their ability to do the job rather than regurgitate factual information that most advisers will never need to use and that will undoubtedly be out of date in a very short time, due to the constantly changing legislation we work with.
Mark Coughlin

I am pro-RDR and feel that the proposed date of December 31, 2012 is approaching far too fast. I would definitely support an extension of 12 months. </B>
James MacDonald

I would be interested if one of the proRDR camp could explain to me why level four exams are necessary for something as simple as an actively managed collective stocks & shares Isa or a unit trust or an Oeic? If I could be allowed to continue ’advising’ on Isas and Oeics, being paid trail commission, under a simplified sales structure, then the few RDR fans could go away and do whatever it is they want to do.
John Blackmore

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