Treasury select committee chair Andrew Tyrie says although it is clear to many people there is a problem with the RDR, a potential solution is less apparent.
In an interview in this issue of Money Marketing, Tyrie says he is confident the FSA will pay attention to the huge amount of concern expressed in last week’s Parliamentary debate and the current TSC consultation on the impact of the RDR.
Concern has focused on the plight of older advisers unhappy about taking new exams or alternative assessments and the potential damage to consumers caused by a significant fall in IFA numbers.
Tyrie says: “It is clear to many people, including IFAs and wealth managers, there is a problem. It is not clear to everybody what the solution is. The FSA has a proposal which has generated quite a bit of criticism, one of which is it is a one size fits all approach that may cause consumer detriment. That is something we need to examine carefully.”
In his first interview since becoming Aifa director general, Stephen Gay says elements of the RDR “need improvement” but warns advisers against risking their business in the hope the review will be derailed.
At a Money Marketing Pave the Way to Save round table last week, Aifa policy director Andrew Strange warned age discrimination rules mean grandfathering would allow inexperienced bank advisers through the door.
But he added: “For firms that want to work towards the RDR but will take longer to get there, for whatever reason, there should be a way for the FSA to help them with a more pragmatic, transitional period rather than a cliff-edge date in 2012.”
Strange said other solutions to assess competence which are not exams or “pseudo exams” should be looked at.
Also speaking at the roundtable, Cicero Consulting director Iain Anderson said the first quarter of 2011 will be critical. He said: “With any effective lobbying, you should never just adopt the ’we do not like this’ approach. You must turn up, saying ’we do not like this, so we propose that’. The alternative proposal to the RDR as it stands is not on the table with any clarity. From the IFA perspective, that is what needs to happen next.”