Treasury select committee member Mark Garnier has urged pro-RDR advisers to contribute to the committee’s consultation.
Speaking at a PanaceaIFA RDR event in London today, the TSC member and Conservative MP said the committee needed to know the true balance of IFA sentiment as trade and professional bodies are claiming that MPs are only hearing from a vocal minority.
He said: “On the one hand you have IFAs coming out and saying ’please listen to us’. On the other, bodies like Aifa and the Chartered Insurance Institute are saying ’actually that is not the case, they are a vocal minority coming forward and saying one thing when our members are saying something completely different’.”
Garnier said for every 100 negative letters he receives on the RDR, he receives just one positive letter. He said he wants to test that ratio.
Garnier said: “If you do have people who have got strong feelings, get them to contribute because it gives balance to the debate.”
He asked advisers who do contribute to make sure their arguments are backed up with hard facts so they can be effectively used by the TSC in its consultation.
He said: “We are a pretty dull bunch around the committee, we tend to need data and facts and clearly there is a lot of emotion out there in terms of what is happening to your community. We understand all that but we need evidence.”
Work and Pensions select committee member and Conservative MP Harriett Baldwin said the RDR is “clearly biased” towards larger institutions and would deliver an advantage to banks. She reiterated her concern that the evidence base for introducing higher qualifications is weak.
Garnier said MPs’ ability to directly influence the FSA is limited, due to the regulator being statutorily independent, but suggested that Parliament can influence the regulator.
He said: “My view is that it is better the FSA is stand alone, but equally so it has got to stop being arrogant, it has got to start listening to what is happening with consumers and practitioners in the market place.”
Garnier and Baldwin were responsible for securing the parliamentary debate on the RDR last month.