One of the biggest talking point of the recent Money Marketing Retirement Summit in Dublin came from the explosive comments of Centre for Policy Studies research fellow Michael Johnson.
In a speech on the future of the pension industry, Johnson shocked delegates by attacking the industry’s past attempts to represent itself as “appalling” and warned that continued “wallowing in self-interest” will spell the demise of the sector. He said the sector had “surrendered the initiative” on the RDR to the FSA.
He said: “I think the IFA community may well find itself moving away from advice and first and foremost become distributors. Eventually, they will not offer any advice at all.”
Worldwide Financial Planners adviser Nick McBreen says: “I think he was on the money. As the RDR debate has dragged on, it has become more and more clear that people are preparing for the RDR by protecting their particular vested interests.
“We have been appalling as an industry in terms of actually making the right representations in the right way as an organisation and we are now being told what is going to happen. We have reached a point where what is going to happen has been done to us by default because we have been too busy arguing.
“We should be making a concerted effort in how to negotiate rather than battle.”
Syndaxi Chartered Financial Planners managing director Rob Reid says: “I think there is no unity because you do not have a homogenous group. You cannot bundle all IFAs together. Look at the problems had by IFA Promotion, many of the higher quality IFAs have gone away from it because, to some extent, they do not want to be seen in the same bucket as the other guys.
“The only thing you can bring all advisers together around is the notion that advice is good value.”