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Mann urges rethink on phasing in RDR

Skandia chief development officer Peter Mann is calling for the RDR to be phased in between 2012 and 2014.

Speaking to Money Marketing at the Honister Capital conference in Brighton last week, Mann said the timescale for the RDR does not “feel right” and is suggesting that the FSA pushes back the phasing-in period so it is introduced between 2012 and 2014.

He says: “I think it would probably be better to allow people to customise their businesses in line with the RDR and phase it in over 2012, 2013 and 2014.”

Mann also says adviser numbers will not dramatically reduce as a result of the RDR but he adds: “If the RDR goes through the way it is, I suspect there will be quite a significant transition from independent advice to restricted advice.

“That is okay as long as the client understands the type of advice they are getting. There is nothing wrong with restricted advice.”

Mann welcomes proposals for a Professional Standards Board but he is concerned about the extra cost for advisers. He says: “If it just monitors professional standards, that is fine but when it strays into policing ethics, that is subjective. I do not know how that can be codified.”

Mann also questioned the capital adequacy requirements. He says the £20,000 cap is acceptable but that medium-sized firms which turn over decent volumes of business will be unfairly hit by the 13/52nds expenditure ratio.

Honister Capital strategy and business development director Alan Easter says: “The RDR is a really good piece of work but if it was an examination paper it would have scored an F because it has failed to answer the question posed by Callum McCarthy in Gleneagles, which was how do we get more people engaged in the industry?”

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