The Treasury select committee says it regrets the FSA’s rejection of its key RDR recommendations and describes the regulator’s initiatives to soften the 2013 deadline for experienced advisers as too limited.
The select committee’s report, published in July, report called for the deadline to be put back by one year to give advisers more time to reach QCF level four qualification and for measures to soften the cliff-edge for experienced advisers.
In its formal response to the report, released by the TSC this week, the FSA says it is sticking to the January 1, 2013 deadline, citing new research suggesting 91 per cent of advisers expect to meet requirements in time. However, it says it will continue to monitor industry progress carefully.
The regulator says it intends to publish guidance for possible exemptions for advisers who fail to meet the deadline for reasons such as ill-health.
It also points MPs to the regulator’s September quarterly consultation paper, which proposes authorising the Calibrand/SQA work-based QCF level four assessment, the diploma in professional financial advice.
The TSC says: “While we note these initiatives, they are very limited. In particular, we very much regret the FSA has not accepted our recommendations to delay the RDR’s implementation by a year, or that non-qualified advisers be able to operate with a system of proper supervision beyond implementation.”
The FSA’s research on the number of advisers that expect to meet the qualification deadline comes from a survey of 1,000 advisers conducted in July and August. Participants knew the research was carried out on behalf of the regulator but that no individual responses would be identifiable.
Facts and Figures Financial Planners managing director Simon Webster says: “The FSA’s track record on use and abuse of statistics to justify its actions does not fill me with confidence that it was a fair survey. You have to ask how were the questions framed? How did they choose who to survey? Were those questioned happy to tell the FSA they are not progressing well?”