Guernsey will not be introducing its own version of the Retail Distribution Review until assessing its impact on the UK, Money Marketing understands.
The Guernsey Financial Services Commission, which regulates Guernsey’s financial services industry, consulted on the disclosure of commission and professional qualifications last year and considered introducing an RDR-style regime but plans are understood to be on hold.
Last year Jersey announced a replica of the RDR but will not implement its rules until 1 January 2014. The Isle of Man is not imposing a commission ban and advisers have until 31 December 2013 to meet professional standards qualifications which are similar to the RDR.
Spearpoint Retirement is an IFA in both Jersey and Guernsey and managing director Meeku Patidar says he expects the market to move towards fee-based structures even without new rules.
He says: “If we take commission, it is the regulator’s view that most product providers are UK-led in some way and they will alter their product profiles to meet the RDR requirements. Indirectly there will be compliance with the RDR but it just won’t be prescribed as in the UK and Jersey.”
Patidar says any advantage to Guernsey would be limited and there is not much value in having lighter regulation for financial advisers.
Chartered Insurance Institute director of policy and public affairs David Thomson says: “If they under-set the bar it could have reputational damage. They are all sensitive about being offshore centres and they are cautious about being viewed as a lighter touch regime because in financial services you don’t want to be seen as a pariah centre.”
Informed Choice managing director Martin Bamford says all the jurisdictions are moving towards higher standards in the long-term.
But he adds: “Advice in Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man is seen as having much lower standards than the rest of the UK market.”
The GFSC and the States of Guernsey Government both refused to comment.