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MP secures Commons debate on RDR

Conservative MP Harriet Baldwin has secured a House of Commons debate on the RDR on October 20.

Baldwin and other MPs will have the opportunity to discuss the RDR during a Westminster Hall debate in which the Government will have to respond to any concerns raised.

Speaking to Money Marketing at the Conservative conference in Birmingham, Treasury select committee member Mark Garnier called for the RDR to allow grandfathering and for the commission ban to be reassessed.

Treasury financial secretary Mark Hoban reiterated his strong support for the RDR this week suggesting the review will attract new talent to the industry and create a level playing field for advice.

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Comments

There are 31 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Yes we should all undertake CPD.
    Yes we should all treat customers fairly.
    But how can we be expected to do examinations again when we cannot make sense of what gaps to fill.

    The RDR should sets limits for commision,should stop advisers taking commision and fees together.
    It should however still allow commission offset and extra allocation rates on Bonds etc

  2. I do hope someone will stand up for the ‘low net worth’ clients who need independent advice, but couldn’t contemplate paying fees. And also stand up for those IFAs who have many years complaint free service to clients, but are too old to even think about another exam to take so will forced out of their livelihood!

  3. Aren’t there better things for MP’s to talk about at present?

    RDR has been coming for ages and we still have over 2 years to go. I have no sympathy for those trying to fight it who if they had redirected their vigour towards study would not have anything left to worry about.

    Of course it is not an ideal solution to improving the industry, but I’m not sure one exists. One thing I feel is certain though is that RDR will get rid of some of the dross and that can only be a good thing. Shape up or ship out, if you can’t pass a few exams you don’t deserve to continue doing this.

  4. Mark Hoban MP is part of the problem not the solution. Estimates indicate arround 10000 IFAs will leave the industry and what Mark Hoban really means is new banking talent will create a level tied and poor product quality playing field. MP Harriet Baldwin has worked hard for the IFA and now every IFA reading this must ensure their own MP attends and supports this debate.

  5. Julian Sunley | 14 Oct 2010 10:53 am

    Aren’t there better things for MP’s to talk about at present?

    RDR has been coming for ages and we still have over 2 years to go. I have no sympathy for those trying to fight it who if they had redirected their vigour towards study would not have anything left to worry about.

    Of course it is not an ideal solution to improving the industry, but I’m not sure one exists. One thing I feel is certain though is that RDR will get rid of some of the dross and that can only be a good thing. Shape up or ship out, if you can’t pass a few exams you don’t deserve to continue doing this.

    ———————————————————————

    Very well put, Julian. If those trying to fight the RDR had instead directed their energies into studying for exams, they’d be well on their way to being RDR-qualified. I have very little sympathy for them in this regard.

  6. I work in the recruitment sector of FS and have done for many years, never have I seen or came across such a mass depression and apathy with IFA’s. This industry is being ripped apart and with nothing new on the horizon to attract new blood it is in a desperate state. As far as RDR is concerned if we are being completely honest there is very little here which will excite the consumer, clients in the main do not wish to pay for advice and how many years will it take to complete a mind set change with a UK population, not in our lifetime.
    Let’s face facts when the FSA announced a number of months ago that the only reason for continuing with RDR was that to scrap it would have meant them losing face just about sums up this whole sorry mess. I really do hope that the upcoming Commons debate around RDR will bring some common sense back into the equation.

  7. Simon Mansell - Reply to Julian Sunley 14th October 2010 at 11:13 am

    Julian I’m sure your have not given this matter the consideration it is due. This is a fundamental constitutional issue that goes beyond RDR. In practice and in reality, the IFA is not equal before the law and it is fundamentally wrong to apply a retrospective definition of IFA qualifications. The FSMA does not permit the FSA to cancel an authorisation simply because the FSA has changed its views on what the appropriate qualifications should be. There are many thousands of good IFA that are being destroyed over a “certificate”. I would invite you to rethink the consequences of what you say!

  8. I am rather bemused by Mark Hoban’s assertion that the RDR will inspire new talent to join the industry.

    My own perspective of this issue, unlike the Right Honourable Gentleman’s, is a personal one, not an armchair one. To put it very tactfully, he’s having a larf, guv’nor.

    Unlike most of you, I am not a fully fledged IFA, but a Mortgage & Protection Advisor with ambitions to expand into the IFA arena.

    Speaking only for myself, the RDR is proving to be a massive deterrant. If the regulator wants to hold IFAs to a higher standard of qualifications, then fair enough, but it has created so much confusion in moving the goalposts on what counts as a relevant qualification and what doesn’t, that I honestly don’t know which way to turn. In recent weeks I have learned about “gapfill” too – I suppose as a new entrant to the industry I’ll have a lot of very large gaps to fill, right?

    The unilateral rejection of grandfathering also is quite frankly potty, and I have concerns as to how many of my more experienced colleagues will still be around to help mentor me.

    All the while, I am supposed to convince my clients that I know what I am talking about and charge them a big fat fee upfront for the priviledge. That’s more of a bluff than I am prepared to take, sorry Mr Hoban, I’m too ethical.

    I’ll stick to mortgages and protection thanks very much, financial areas I know I am good at, and which aren’t being completely torn to pieces by the RDR.

    Kudos to Mrs Baldwin for sticking up for all of us, anyway.

  9. @ Julian Sunley – Although I don’t want to get into a mine’s bigger than yours competition the degrees , MBA and Masters that I obtained in the 1960’s and 70’s ought to be seen as sufficient to allow me to continue to trade.

    OK so I’m dross (when it come to thew FSA and RDR I certainly have the wrong attitude) and the RDR will get rid of me.

    But what about the dross that remain ? those with Q level 4 qualifications, overcharging on a fee basis. Do you really think that RDR will improve the general state of the Financial Services Industry ?

  10. Ref Simon Mansell

    I assure you I have given this lots of thought and am soooooooooooooo bored on the ongoing debate/complaining/whining….

    If these ‘good’ IFAs are so good why can’t they pass a few exams? It’s not as if there has been no warning. And assuming all those who post on these blogs are not at CII Diploma level or equivalent why don’t they stop blogging and start studying.

    I have ‘gap fill’ to do, having completed the CII route through the J papers, and am sure that this has made me a more informed and therefore better adviser so am not going to complain about the structured CPD topup I have to do over the next 2 years.

    And before anyone thinks ‘it’s alright for him, he’s got his Dip’, I am sitting another exam next week as I am now working towards my Chartered.

    As a ‘one man band’ IFA I like many others have ‘no time to study’ but make it for things I feel important.

    End of sermon, I’m getting back to work…

  11. At a time when the IFA industry should be pulling together it is dissapointing to read comments like “RDR will get rid of some of the dross” Within professions there is a duty of care to the profession, indeed bringing the profession into disrepute is unethical, and is frequently rewarded by expulsion. One can act professionally even when engaged outside a profession as with IFA’s. To do otherwise weakens the whole.

  12. I am a chartered financial Planner and thus not affected by the exam issue. I think that if Mr Sunley thinks that RDR is just about exams he needs to think again. Comments like “shape up or ship out” shows that he is like a passenger on the Titanic refusing to get in a life boat. RDR in its current form is anti consumer and very destructive. I suggest he reads the article on page 47 of last weeks MM on this subject.

  13. John Blackmore – spot on.

    Simon Mansell @ 11.13 am – Exactly

    Jon T – Precisely

    Julian – short-sighted nonsense

  14. I have been in the Financial Services for over 35 years now and I am a Mortgage and Protection adviser. I would not even consider at 58 years old to sit further exams. I still think that afer all this RDR Protection will be next on the agenda as this industry is all a money making exercise. Regulated by big fat cat greed.

  15. Another thing in relation to fee charging, do we all forget the ‘fee war’ which was prevelant with many mortgage brokers during the peak times a couple of years ago. Windows were plastered with ‘no-fees’ or ‘mine’s is only da da da da’ Just think what it will be like when fee charging comes in, goodbye to client loyalty and service and more money being spent by IFA’s not promoting their service but their fee structure.

    As the film said ‘Oh what a lovely war’

  16. Ignoring the grandfathering argument let’s look at this matter in a purely logical way.

    Is there any consumer advantage to an adviser having qualifications and expertise in areas that he does not and will not advise on.

    Experienced advisers know their limitations and work within their chosen parameters. If they find that a client requires advice or skills that they do not possess they will pass the client to a firm that does possess such skills.

    Requiring all advisers to acquire knoweldge that will never be put to use is like asking a Honda Civic driver to take a HGV test.

  17. Julian Sunley – one day you will be old and I hope someone treats you with the disrespect you afford your more experienced colleagues.

    I am 63 and have been in financial services 38 years. In that time I’ve not had a complaint against me.

    Whilst I have never had difficulty passing exams, is it fair that I should have to? More to the point, is it fair that other competent practitioners near retirement should have to? Not all people my age are going to be good at passing exams.

    Solicitors, Accountants and Doctors were grandfathered in. Why shouldn’t we have the same courtesy?

    I feel my time and money are much better directed towards ensuring the continuation of my firm’s advice to clients once I decide to hang up my boots.

    Having seen some of the advice turned out by exam qualified members of our community, I have been a lot less than impressed and I’d be ashamed if I had turned out that work.

    RDR is another complete farce. It is unfair that banks and tied agents can receive commission but IFAs can’t.

  18. I have emailed my concerns about RDR directly to my MP. He has immediately acknowledged my letter and has referred it to Mr Osbourne. Lets not have a civil war amongst advisers those of you who are happy with RDR will no doubt accept all that is thrown at them, however, those of us who are not I urge make your case to your MP without delay and ask that they also refer to Mr Osbourne.

  19. To: Julian Sunley 14th October 2010 at 12:30 pm

    For the record Julian I hold an hons degree in law and am 2/3 rds of the way to level 4. I also respect your own hard work and professional stance but not at the expense of others. I know and respect the knowledge that many advisers have who may be unable to gain certificates but who represent the best interests of their clients. Your option is the “doormat” option and you need to resit the “compassion module” which you clearly have failed by a mile. I would go back to pro RDR Citwire where you clearly belong!

  20. I can count on one hand the cases I have seen where a client has been disadvantaged because of another adviser’s (lack of ) qualifications.

    I meet a couple of clients per month who have been ripped off to produce commission or fees.

    These fall into 3 categories:

    The occasional client that has been given poor advice by an IFA (usually to get commission).

    More or less every client that has been to see a bank salesman has had at best poor advice.

    Every client without exception that has been “advised” by a certain bank owned company that tell everybody they are independent when they aren’t has been ripped off.

    RDR will not change this; a liar is a liar and a thief is a thief. They will just change their modus operendi – we will just have a “higher class” of thief.

    The FSA could have fixed many problems already and have failed to do so.

    Having said that, the FSA have actively encouraged some of the highest class – and certainly most efficient – thieves: The Banks.

  21. Julian Sunley
    If you are so bored with this debate why are you entering into it?
    I could take the exams. Most of us could. But there is a principle involved as well. Or don’t you believe that people should stand up for their principles?
    Where do you draw the line with what the FSA tell you to do Julian? I draw it at being told to do something that is a stupid idea. It might get rid of some of the dross but a lot of good people will go as well. And most of us know that it is bad for the consumer as well, or doesn’t that bother you either?

  22. Once again Nero fiddles whilst Rome burns!

    Instead of arguing about the need to sit exams – which will receive little or no sympathy from politicians – we should be asking our MPs to get the Treasury to explain to them (and us) how exactly RDR will benefit the majority of their constituents, given the loss of access to affordable, independent advice.

    We should also be asking our MPs to explain why we as a profession are denied the basic human rights available to everybody else, due to the FSAs policies and attitudes. I am thinking particularly of the long stop and freedom of speech (ever tried tweeting with a regulatory statement attached, as well as the FSAs desire to only allow official media spokespersons to comment on matters of relevance to the MPs consituents).

    These are matters of more relevance to MPs, for which we are more likely to receive a sympatetic hearing.

  23. Exams are all very well for those who enjoy poring over textbooks, sitting exams and getting nice certificates to hang on their office walls. They may even be better advisers as a result, should they encounter clients who require comprehensive life planning or whose affairs demand advice in certain stratified areas.

    But most small IFA’s are GP’s who’ve been doing a perfectly respectable and competent job for decades, and who see no need to study for a load of exams which cover tons of ground on which they’ll probably never be called to walk.

    It all comes down to the FSA’s obsession with trying to impose a fix on something which manifestly ain’t broken.

    Fees, for those who consider them the best basis for a professional relationship are fine. Commission for those who either cannot or don’t want to pay fees are fine too. A mix of fees and commissions is fine. The issue on this front is clarity not methodology.

    Is an adviser who’s been in business for decades with a loyal and satisfied client bank, virtually no complaints or possibly none at all, but only basic written qualifications really such a risk to the financial wellbeing of consumers, particularly when we see what the banks are allowed to get away with, week in and week out, because the Treasury has instructed the FSA to stand well back and look the other way?

    By all means punish bad practice, but I fail to see the justification for trying to shoehorn all practitioner into exactly the same business mould. The greatest strength of the IFA sector is its wealth of diversity, yet it seems to me that the principal objective of the RDR is to destroy of that diversity.

  24. Well, all I’ve ever wanted to be was an IFA. I applied, before the exams structure, and turned down offers from businesses that had everything except the stetson – then we had the endowment misselling (it’s still happening), pensions misselling, mortgage misselling – and I stayed away from the industry. When the clean up started, I took the exams and began as a Mortgage adviser. Now the pendulum has swung the other way and we have an FSA hitting us with RDR, FSCS etc along with a dwindling supply of business. Forget it! Goodbye! So instead I looked at IT exams only to find the Banks dumping thousands of IT workers onto the dole! Maybe I’ll try selling second hand cars…less hassle.

  25. “Two legs good, four legs bad” – George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

    “Exam qualified good, experience qualified bad” FSA’s RDR.

    And look what happened in Orwell’s book!

  26. I read and comment on these pages to consider in the main other IFA’s thoughts and opinions. The manner in which this subject is being ‘discussed’ seems to have been influenced by the behaviour of those children in the 1st 2 episodes of the Apprentice!!!

  27. Julian Sunley.

    You pompous ass.

  28. Sorry censors, I should of course have said:

    Julian Sunley,

    You pompous ¥$$.

  29. I believe in the principals of the RDR
    I agree that IFAs should be able prove competence in this ever changing world.I think the govenment should pay for the training and support of IFAs to achieve the Highest Level since they changed the rules.The CII should be provided free to all existing IFAS. including exams and training.
    I think that commission should be allowed at predetermined limits and should be the same across the industry.
    I think the public should be encouraged to use qualified IFAs by way of annual tax credits.
    In short the IFAS should be helped to achieve the level. The clients should be confident that the fees by commisssion are fair .
    the public should be encouraged to use us.
    simples so i support the MP that wants to help achieve this. Good LucK

  30. Well I’ve spent alot of time, money on effort on passing 4 CII exams this year. I’m now only 10 credits away from reaching RDR Diploma level & I’ve added LTC & Equity Release to my bank
    as well.

    The pity is – I do not feel any more qualified post passing any of these exams than I did previously. Nor am I doing things differently! If I’ve learnt 3 paragraphs that have been in anyway shape useful in giving advice to clients on a higher technical level that’s your lot.

    And that’s what makes me angry about all this. The CII said it was IFA’s who couldn’t pass the exams who were complaining, well here’s one who has passed them & still thinks the whole thing is simply a bit of a money making racket!

  31. The comment about Chartered Staus meaning no more exams is not strictly true as I found out at the recent PFS Conference. I myself am Chartered and have been since 2005 and apparently still have to up date some of my qualifications in order to meet the criteria for RDR!!

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