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Goddard warns advisers are clutching at straws on RDR

Personal Finance Society chief executive Fay Goddard says IFAs are clutching at straws if they think the recent political interest in the retail distribution review will lead to it being watered down.

She said although many advisers support a higher level of qualification, there remain a small number still trying to resist the RDR. The Chartered Insurance Institute is tracking the progress of its members who are taking exams and has found 80 per cent have reached the required QCF level four standard or above or are on their way to achieving it.

Speaking at the Aviva round table, Goddard said: “The vast majority of advisers are getting on with it and a good proportion of advisers are already there. This is not going to go away. I feel desperately sorry for these people who are against the RDR but they are clutching at straws.”

Goddard said the recent Westminster Hall debate on the RDR secured by Conservative MP Harriett Baldwin only serves to give IFAs false hope. She said: “I feel this debate now is perhaps giving false expectations to people. I really do not see any reversal. The rules are in place.”

The issue of the RDR has been occupying the political spotlight over the last month, not only through the Westminster Hall debate but also as part of the Treasury select committee’s ongoing inquiry into financial regulation.

The backbenchers’ business committee turned down a request for a full Parliamentary debate on the impact of RDR last week as the issue has received a lot of attention recently.

Conservative MP Mark Garnier, one of two MPs who requested the debate, plans to allow some time to elapse before submitting the request again.


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There are 11 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Let’s not forget that the PFS is one of the few winners out of all this upheaval.

    Selling qualification solcutions is this years big deal, like being a claims manager was in 2004.

    Vested interests always find cogent reasons for extolling the benefits of changes that suit their purposes.

  2. The assumption by many who supprt RDR is that it is the perfect solution and that one should not criticise as a result.

    RDR is not the perfect solution or even a good solution for consumers. there are some good aspects such as qualifications and transparency on payment etc, but improvements can be made and sadly that seems unlikely as we have no voice or can even agree on one voice to go forward so hence the FSA has taken the view that THEY must make all the running and you do as they say or else.

    If we cannot get our act together and have one voice we have no hope at all going forward.

  3. I would have thought some of the winners here would be the clients who will benefit from more knowledgeable advisers, along with the advisers expanding their own knowledge.

    For too many years the ‘profession’ has bumbled along with mutual self apprectiation. Until a higher level of expectation is achieved, and recognition earned, we as a profession cannot expect to put ourselves on a level playing field with solicitors and accountants.

    Honesty, integrity, clarity of information, services and payment, and greater knowledge are key to this becoming a credible profession, as opposed to a sales channel more lucrative than double glazing or second hard cars.

    Sadly some very experienced advisers will be lost along the way, but for the most part, I would like to think that the smoke,mirrors, cloak and dagger reputation the industry will be put behind us.

    It may not be 100% perfect or a flawless solution, but it is certainly far better than where we are at the moment.

    It certainly seems to be the case, that those who spend time moaning and criticising the RDR would be better served filling in the gaps in their knowledge through GapFill or exams, and positioning their business in line with the RDR requirements.

  4. Jeremy
    “Honesty, integrity, clarity of information, services and payment, and greater knowledge are key to this becoming a credible profession”

    With the exception perhaps of greater knowledge,none of these can be achieved by simply passing an exam.
    Honesty and Integrity in particular, are characteristics, you cannot legislate for them.
    or do you naively believe that having level 4 will suddenly rid the profession of all advisers lacking in honesty and integrity?
    They will just be more qualified not more honest or trustworthy.

  5. So who’s feeding Ms. Goddard these lines? What does she know that the rest of us don’t?

    Even the FSA itself has had to admit the massive cracks and flaws in the RDR and very nearly scrapped it only a few months ago, but bottled out because of fear of losing face. What a great basis for a major policy decision such as this.

    How about the (very probably quite deliberately) skewed Cost:Benefit Analysis on the basis of which the FSA launched the RDR? If an increase of 250% in the estimated costs of implementation isn’t grounds for reviewing the entire viability of the RDR, then it’s hard to imagine what might be. But hey, this is the FSA, and the FSA doesn’t have to give ground on anything because no outside body holds it to account. So to hell with what anybody else might say or think ~ the RDR is going ahead regardless, whether or not you lot like it, agree with it, care about all the modest NW clients likely to be disenfranchised by it, are concerned about your livelihoods, are supported by your MP’s. As far as we (the FSA) are concerned, this is the route we’ve decided upon for the industry and by God, this is the way it’s gonna be.

    And to think we live in what most of us would like to think is a democracy.

  6. Oh it must be right then if that ‘old sage’ Fay Goddard says it eh !!!!!! .

    No vested interest there then Fay ?

    Lets have you on the record Fay – how comfortable are you with the legality of some of the RDR ? (come to that lets have Hoban and the FSA answer that as well)

    Are you comfortable pressing something which is very likely a breach of law ? and I dont just mean ECHR law !!! notwithstanding any moral or principles of enforcing it !

    Who on earth is remotely interested in what Fay Goddard has to say or think

  7. Perhaps Faye could answer this question as the FSA & Mark Hoban cant.

    How will the RDR help the average income person who will no longer be able to afford Independent Financial advice?

    The RDR will have the exact opposite effect than its original intention of helping expand quality advice to the consumer.This is why the FSA were close to dumping it,but couldn’t because it wouldn’t look good on Hectors CV.

  8. Fay Goddard was part of the AIFA RDR appeasement machine. She changed at platform 1 and boarded the PFS /CII Exam Gravy Train, terminating at Trade Body membership compulsion!

    Fay has done a great job …just not sure for who?

  9. PFS Built of Straw 10th November 2010 at 10:18 am

    IFA’s may be clutching at staws but Goddard PFS is built of staw. With a huff and a puff and RDR will blow Goddard house in!

    The PFS CII exam machine has misrepresented the IFA position so badly there is now a grass movement of IFA opinion which will see IFA voting with their membership, on the assumption that they are not destroyed by the likes of Goddard’s lobbying before they can destroy the PFS with their exit! To all PFS members its time to call it a day and get out!

  10. Fay – I’m not clutching at straws. Although I think that by June of next year the FSA may well be forced into a change re exams and commission I am fully prepared to be thrown out of this Industry on Jan 01 2013.

    Please note that although I have qualifications far in excess of those required by the FSA I will still be thrown out as I refuse to take level 4 exams on a point of principle.

    If there is a change and sense prevails then fine. If no such change occurs then although I will be sad to be thrown out this is something I accept.

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