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IFAs believe they can leap barriers to accessibility

Nearly three-quarters of IFAs are optimistic they will find innovative and less expensive ways to reach a wider market, says Aegon.

Its research findings are in marked contrast to recent debate about distribution strategies that has questioned advisers’ options in targeting the lower to mid-market and a recent FSA invitation for banks to move into this sphere.

Head of business regulation Steve Cameron says it is positive that 72 per cent of advisers agreed to the sentiment and he hopes the retail distribution review will allow advisers to be more innovative in this area by removing regulatory barriers.

He says many advisers are worried about moving into the mid-market as they are unclear about their regulatory requirements, for example, when offering focused advice.

He hopes RDR proposals will give new opportunities to offer simplified advice alongside their full offering as well as allowing businesses to focus on simpler advice if desired.

In a recent speech, FSA director, wholesale firms division, Dr Thomas Huertas invited banks to find a solution to how certain consumers can obtain financial advice in a more cost-effective manner, offering regulatory incentives such as no retrospection and potential removal of price caps.

Cameron says Aegon’s research shows a hunger within the adviser market place to service consumers excluded from the current system.

He says: “This shows advisers are ready and willing to service a wider range of client and help those who are not accessing advice if certain regulatory barriers are removed.”

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