Bankhall chief executive Peter Mann says advisers going down the primary advice route will ensure that consumers are able to receive good quality basic financial advice.
Mann believes only around 10 per cent of his company’s advisers would currently fall into the professional financial planner category proposed in the retail distribution review.
He expects advisers, particularly those within a few years of retirement, will choose to trade down rather than take further qualifications to be able to retain the independent tag.
However, he stresses this should not be seen in a purely negative light as it will greatly benefit consumers. He says: “If advisers only a few years away from retirement have a three-year transition period, there will be some that will retrain and move themselves upwards but there are plenty that will not. If it is a choice of trading up or trading down, there are clearly those advisers out there that will choose the easier option of trading down.
“Is that such a bad thing? Many advisers are better placed to give advice because a lot of people will not choose to go to the banks. At least it gives advisers a stronger position when competing with the banks.
“The public are then getting better placed people who can give them advice on products that suit their needs. This is not why people visit their banks.”
Mann says the threat of banks to IFA distribution has been greatly exaggerated and the RDR throws up opportunities for advisers.
He says: “I keep telling our advisers, the world is no different post-June 28 than it was before June 27 when the RDR came out. The banks are no more of a threat than they used to be. There is definitely a role for primary advice, offering simpler products to people with simpler needs.”
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