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Liversidge wants RDR extended by three years

West Riding Personal Finance Solutions managing director Neil Liversidge will campaign for a three-year extension to the RDR deadline during his tenure on the Aifa council.

Liversidge was elected to Aifa’s governing council on November 16 at the council’s annual general meeting. His initial tenure will last one year, after which he will have to be re-elected.

Among his priorities on the Aifa council will be to achieve a “commonsense compromise” on the RDR to ens-ure access to financial advice for all consumers rather than just high-networth clients.

Liversidge says: “If the FSA is going to insist that the minimum qualification level for advisers is set at QCF level four, I think it should kick the deadline back to January 1, 2016. That gives advisers five clear years from now to get themselves organised.

“If you look at the struggles the Chartered Insurance Institute is having at facilitating exams, the extra time gives advisers a much more realistic timescale. It will also allow IFAs in their late 50s to bow out gracefully if they want to go without taking exams and it will help advisers get the maximum value for the businesses they are selling.”

Liversidge argues that if the deadline for introducing the RDR requirements was pushed back until 2016, much of the clamour currently surrounding the RDR would fade away.

He adds: “A lot of the people that are supporting the RDR are obviously doing it out of blatant self-interest because they think it will enable them to gobble up other people’s businesses at a bargain price. That cannot be a valid motive for proceeding with the RDR.”

Liversidge is also keen to establish an FSA rule to allow advisers to change firms without needing to be reauthorised.

Neil Liversidge
Liversidge: ’Realistic timescale’

He believes it is unfair that advisers are forced to reapply for authorisation when other professions such as doctors, airline pilots and solicitors do not have to.

He says: “What we have seen over the last 12 months is that a lot of the guys from Park Row, through no fault of their own, have been unable to carry on working, have been unable to earn a living and have been unable to look after their clients. In what other field of endeavour are professionals subject to this kind of ritual dance?”

Liversidge says if it is the case that people were not fit to be authorised in the first place, the regulator should admit that rather than unnecessarily leave advisers without an income for long periods of time.

He says: “The FSA’s policy on authorisations is pointless and bureaucratic. There should be one question only asked by the FSA – is there any reason why this person’s authorisation should not continue? Yes or no. If the answer is yes, tell us why. It should be mandatory for the firm that the person has left to provide the answer.”

Liversidge also wants to put a stop to the activities of claim management firms which he says try to instigate complaints about financial advice when the client does not feel there is a complaint to make.

He says: “Claim management companies do not have to pay anything to the Financial Ombudsman Service. There is no room for compromise whatsoever on the point that when a claim management company brings a complaint, it should have to pay the full FOS fee up front, with a refund if the claim is proven. Why should these firms be able to use a system that they do not contribute to in any way, shape or form?”


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There are 15 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. What a good idea. The amount of stress this is causing people is ridiculous

  2. If he’s serious about this campaign I might have to cancel membership of AIFA – can we not end the uncertainty. If the last 6 years or so haven’t been enough for those people that don’t want to get onboard the RDR train, what’s the use of another 3 years. We’re just allowing them to get off at a later stop. In the meantime we’ll have to listen to the constant bleating for another 3 years.

  3. Best of luck, Neil, but what will you do if the FSA refuses to give any ground on any point? They hold all the hatchets and sledgehammers as well as enjoying statutory immunity from prosecution.

    Why doesn’t AIFA team up with Regulatory Legal?

  4. I endorse everything Liversidge has said but I would add that I feel that if a client brings a claim to FOS which is thrown out that they should pay the adviser some compensation for the time they have wasted. Some bring a claim for compensation knowlingly that it is false but just on the off-chance they can make a quick buck!

  5. How on earth did this guy get on the AIFA council?

    I fear common sense like this may have come too late in the day to rescue AIFA.

  6. Dennis

    You are fortunate enough to have a fee based business, which I believe is Yellow Tail..

    However many of us don’t have clients who are, as yet, prepared to pay fees.

    Its not only about qualifications.

  7. Our problems are not so much in the individual FSA project with which we agree or disagree, but in the total lack of accountability of the FSA.

    and if anyone trys to tell me they are accountable please also tell me why parliament has no authority over them – but can only seek to influence them.

    So the FSA has a culture of “thats what we think – lets do it” – for good or ill.

    Lets campaign with our MP’s and government so say by all means delegate to this quango or that, but never sacrifice your power to govern. make every quango out there, and certainly the FSA accountable to parliament.

    If they are doing a good job every one will have a quiet life, But parliament ought to have the ultimate powwer to say do this, or give it another 5 years or what on earth do you think you are up to – desist immediately.

  8. I agree with everything that he is hoping to achieve. Not only will it give advisors time to do the study and exams, it also gives them time to go beyond the QCA level 4 which will be the next stop.

    More importantly it gives them time to adjust their business to the new model as well transitioning clients from a scenario of not paying for advice to paying for advice.

    I would totally agree with the short timescale if everything had been in place much earlier, but it seems that the CII is under pressure and advisors are under pressure at a time when advice is more necesssary than ever for the general public.

    As stated by Neil, many pushing for the RDR are those with vested interests in seeing it happen either because of their egos or they see it as a way to make a quick buck.

  9. Dennis

    The whole point is that the qualification requirements were only confirmed in June and the goal posts moved.

    If RDR goes ahead and everyone knows what the requirements are now, what quals are acceptable and what are unacceptable, and how long they have to achieve them. The public can be given proper warning/ awareness of the changes and those who don’t pay fees can have them phased in to get used to the idea as a transition rather than a here today gone tomorrow (which any adviser with any sense will have started) .

    No one has an excuse to be on the back foot and the one moaning about lack of time/warning over exactly what quals. will be needed.

    However 2016 should be the end – 10 years from initial consultation to full implementation and for those who bothered to prepare and start exams early a good 18 months to do each one with no pressure the ones who don’t bother really really do have no excuse. Its possible to complete a part time degree in 5 years on top of a full time job so 2016 should be more than achievable for a few A-levels.

    I’ve got my exams so I don’t really care but I do care about clients access to advice

  10. Dennis Hall.
    Have you ever considered that some may be sick of your particular type of bleating?
    What is your problem?
    If you want to get on with RDR on you go. Who is stopping you? Or are you another with vested interests?

  11. That was a thirty three year extension?

  12. I have been Diploma Qualified for 15 years and have thousands of hours of CPD (CPD being a requirement to maintain membership of the Society of Financial Advisers as it was back then) and several additional courses taken and passed (e.g. G60) since then.

    I object to having to jump through new hoops (so called ‘gap-filling’) just because the FSA says so. In what other line of work can you be qualified one day and unqualified the next simply by virtue of a qango diktat.

    Moreover, on the subject of re-authorization on moving between firms – what total tosh ! The FSA knows everything about the history of every IFA currently trading. It is ridiculous bureaucracy that stops someone from working for weeks or even months simply because they move to another firm. Do GPs have to stop work if they move between practices, do hospital doctors have to go on ‘gardening leave’ if they move between hospitals, are solicitors or accountants prevented from practicing until their regulatory body does countless (meaningless) checks, are teachers treated like criminals when they move to another school ?

    IFAs are treated like paedophiles or career villains – all supposedly to protect the public. The FSA spend £millions pushing around bits of paper, keeping people in non-jobs, re-authorizing IFAs with a perfectly clean history which they already know about.

    Nonsense, bloody nonsense !

  13. As a supporter of the RDR, I actually find myself agreeing with MA. Delaying the implementation of the new requirements would allow those advisers who wish to remain in the industry the time to study and adjust their business models, whilst also allowing those who do not wish to study the time to bow out gracefully.

    I will, however, say this: If the deadline is extended by 3 years there should be absolutely no further consultations, delays or excuses. The exams are either passed or you’re out – no ifs, no buts and no maybes about it. The transition to fees should also have occurred by this time.

  14. “A lot of the people that are supporting the RDR are obviously doing it out of blatant self-interest … That cannot be a valid motive for proceeding with the RDR.”

    And a lot of the people opposing it are equally self-interested, and that can’t be a valid motive for delaying it further.

    “There should be one question only asked by the FSA – is there any reason why this person’s authorisation should not continue?” Well, that’s not quite how the legal requirement in section 59’s worded, is it? The onus is very clearly on the applicant for approval (not authorisation – let’s at least try to be clear what we’re talking about) to demonstrate he’s fit and proper, not for anyone to DISprove it. And that’s been tested at Tribunal level.

    So, shall we get on with dealing with the world as it really is, not how we’d like it to be? And you wonder why AIFA’s ineffective…

  15. Crazy gang IFA member 29th November 2010 at 7:07 pm

    I completely agree with Neil, what is the rush? I am sure there is a hidden agenda here.
    I sense that vested interests are at work all over the place here, from the training organisations, preditory IFA’s, and the banking sector certainly, and I think if IFA coleagues can’t see this then they may be a little niave or at best just too busy to investigate this further! You have my support definately, just say the word. In answer to IFA’s like Dennis, I do accept that advisers such as yourself have already taken the requisite exams, but there are a lot of others who, for one reason or another have not, perhaps they are not so well resourced in respect of available time, I don’t know.

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