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Nic Cicutti: RDR costs may well be worth it


The other day I received an email from a financial adviser. He was writing to tell me of a major life company trying to get round the RDR by offering “distribution allowances” on annuities and, perhaps, other products too. Commission by other means, in simple terms.

Speaking to other IFAs in the past few weeks, it seems that particular company is only the tip of an iceberg. Several more names were given to me in addition to this one.

Last week, Money Marketing published an opinion piece on the same subject. Apparently the regulator is becoming increasingly antsy about the way some providers are looking to “circumvent the RDR through excessive payments, related to services like training and events, which look to secure distribution.”

My own experience over the past 20-plus years suggests these tactics are nothing new. Every time regulators have tried to impose a new set of rules aimed at improving transparency or to benefit the consumer, the industry has found ways to sidestep them.

Last year I wrote how companies had deliberately lumped charges on to the front end of their pension products, reducing them massively, often uneconomically so, at the back end of their stated time periods.

This allowed providers to officially comply with the regulator’s disclosure requirements at the time, simultaneously claiming ultra-low RYI figures. Given payments into the vast majority of pensions tended to stop after barely five years, these claims were false. Providers were – and still are – ripping off millions of pensions policyholders who fell for their con.

Why do I mention all of this? Well, last week Money Marketing also published a story to the effect that the cost of implementing the RDR over the next five years “could” reach £2.6bn. This includes “up to” £1.5bn in one-off costs, plus “up to” £233m in ongoing annual costs.

Understandably, this left some commentators – including supposed RDR champion Martin Bamford – gulping for breath, although he makes an interesting point I’ll come back to later. In common with several observers, however, Martin reflects that ultimately it will be policyholders who pay the cost of this allegedly vast RDR bill.

Always assuming, of course, this is a precise estimate of the actual cost. Astute readers of this column, and there are one or two out there, will have noticed that I placed quotation marks around several words in my earlier paragraph: “could” and “up to”. That’s because Money Marketing did so in its original story.

To obtain it, the paper submitted a FoI request to the FSA. The regulator replied by “signposting” relevant policy documents and consultation papers containing various estimates for implementing the RDR. Adding the figures together produced the “up to” £2.6bn sum quoted.

Let me stress that the story itself was a totally legitimate one to pursue. Shining a light on the cost of introducing one of the most important changes in the regulatory landscape over the past 15 years or more is a vital task for journalists. Money Marketing must be commended for doing so.

At the same time, using the words “up to” to qualify the amounts involved suggests there were other figures available. Generally, in most regulatory documents I have seen over the years, costs are based on a range of estimates, both high and low. In this particular story we only appear to have been given a top estimate.

For example, speaking to the FSA, a large part of the quoted one-off bill involved £460m for totally replacing providers’ existing computer systems to comply with the requirement for commission-free products. Yet many providers only needed to tweak their systems, or make relatively minor changes to them, costing less than original estimates.

Other figures in the FoI information supplied by the FSA tell a similar story, including estimates of RDR implementation costs for banks: as we know, several have decided exit the market instead.

It might be helpful for those of us who scavenge off the excellent research so often carried out Money Marketing if all relevant figures are published at some stage.

More importantly, what the paper did not do – almost certainly because it was outside the scope of this particular story – was to also measure the potential benefits of the RDR for consumers.

We know the FSA is targeting a range of outcomes to determine the RDR’s long and short-term success, or otherwise. Some are directly cost-benefit related, others focus on improved transparency, increased persistency and more “consumer engagement with the market”.

We will discover in a year or two’s time whether the RDR has delivered on these desired outcomes. But it is worth noting current anecdotal evidence that some of them, including lower charges, are already beginning to filter through. In other words, RDR costs are mitigated by other benefits for consumers.

Irrespective of any future assessments, one further point must be made now: the ultimate high cost of the RDR has been caused by the industry’s historic and occasionally dishonest resistance to all previous attempts to introduce more transparency and higher standards.

As Martin Bamford implies in his column, this is the price of dragging the financial services industry – kicking and screaming – into the 21st century. Rather than complain, advisers should be asking themselves why their inaction over many years led to the RDR. Ultimately, you reap what you sow.

Nic Cicutti can be contacted at


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There are 42 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. “Always assuming, of course, this is a precise estimate of the actual cost” It is not, it will be far, far higher.
    Lets hope you and all journalists who want anything but truth and transparency, reap what they sow.

  2. Nic

    As per usual spouting nonsense with no price to pay for your failure.

    Put your money where your mouth is – we’ll all have a wager with you now RDR is ultimately an unmitigated disaster unworthy of any costs let alone the billions it has and will cost the industry. BY ANY MEASURE you wish.

    For the purposes of doubt – RDR costs will not be worth it – how much do you want to bet ??

  3. “But it is worth noting current anecdotal evidence that some of them, including lower charges, are already beginning to filter through.”

    Given the thrust of this article is predicated on this, what is your source? Is it representative? Is it of any real value? Charging is highly complex and any comparison must take account of the mix of product and adviser charges before and after.

    I suspect this is about as useful as me sticking my head out the window and because it’s cold today assuming we are entering a new ice age.

    Cheap, cheap, journalism…

  4. I must be massively missing the point, but in most work I’m doing, things haven’t changed dramatically for me.

    Take the annuities mentioned above – we agree the fee with the client, and this can be taken from the fund, before Tax Free Cash is paid. Previously, for small cases, we had to charge a top-up fee after completion as the commission wasn’t sufficient and this came out of the clients TFC. The new system works better for us and the client.

    And on pension payments such as singles or transfers or drawdown, I can’t see much difference…clients are told our fees, they agree (if they want to continue!) and we can take the fees from the scheme – just as before.

    Even on ISAs and unit trusts or investment bonds, the same rules apply. Investment bonds do have some fiddly twists under RDR but we don’t often use them anyway.

    So, for us at least, it’s hard to see what all the huge fuss is about. Can somebody give me concrete examples of the problems RDR is giving them (not just angry hot air guff some people like to put on these boards regularly, but clear examples so I understand what the problem is…after all I might be missing something important!)

  5. But the question remains: How has the FSA been allowed to get away with the now colossal disparity between its original cost estimate of £600m for implementation of the RDR and the current estimate of £2.6Bn?

    It’s hard to argue against a higher qualifications benchmark or the replacement of commission/s with explicit, customer-agreed Adviser Charging. But what I do object to are all the other things that have been bolted on along the way with nothing in the way of any further consultation of or agreement from either providers and intermediaries. Even if any further consultation had been undertaken, it probably wouldn’t have amounted to anything more than just going through the motions, with none of the feedback submitted published in open forum for all to see and to debate.

    The FSA’s current reporting requirements, for example, are absurdly burdensome, not to mention highly questionable in terms of any Benefit:Cost Ratio.

    As many have said before, the FSA and now the FSA Mk.II remain quite free to set and pursue their own agendas without being answerable to anyone, not least in terms of striking a any sort of reasonable balance between Costs and Benefits. And what if the conclusions from various quarters after a few years are that the costs of the RDR aren’t worth it? Will any elements of it be modified or removed? Highly doubtful ~ the regulator will just say, basically, We are where we are and there can be no going back. There could be, of course, but there won’t.

  6. IFA @ 10.10
    You missed the xxxxxx billion pound price tag.
    Maybe nic would be better off investigating the goings on at the bbc over the Panorama SIPP fiasco in which the journalist attempted to bribe the Harlequin consultant, who could not be bought.
    Reap what you sow indeed.

  7. @ Anon 10.55

    Exactly my point, your answer is just general hot air guff….what’s the Panorama show got to do with RDR?

    I asked, politely, for concrete examples of how RDR makes running the business much harder on a day to day basis, and I gave examples where it doesn’t seem to affect me at the mement.

    One hour later : no examples yet.

  8. Worth it? Oh yes! Bank advice decimated and heading for extinction, overall adviser numbers falling, splendid. Very soon we will be cherry picking only the very best clients and charging £1,000 per hour.

    If I was a consumer however, RDR is a catastrophe.

  9. Example of how the RDR makes running a business harder – lack of commission on regular premium investments / pensions making the cost of advice too expensive / more expensive for poorer customers. Lack of client choice between commission and fees. Loss of enhanced allocation on investments, eg: investment bonds clients are far worse off.

    There are advantages to the RDR of course, increased adviser qualifications, clients being generally more aware that fees are payable and therefore more accepting of them. Transparency, etc.

    However there are disadvantages which whatever the spin you put on them is, still remain DISADVANTAGES.

  10. Nic’s assertion that the RDR isn’t that bad because it might have cost less than the estimates is utterly unreal. Costs are ALWAYS underestimated and things ALWAYS cost more than the initial estimate. Especially in the public sector.

    What planet is he on where government projects come under budget? Olympics? Millennium Dome? NHS IT system? Your patio? Hello?

  11. Many IFAs have increased their charges under RDR. I have a number of clients who have GARs on their pension, but the provider will not pay commission, advised or otherwise, so I will have to charge a fee. These clients needless to say a somewhat unimpressed with the RDR. But it’s not about a customer, is it?

  12. Anon

    Much of the RDR fallout will be to come (although I have to say things aint going too swimmingly in just 3 odd months)

    Even if I accept nothing has changed (which incidently I don’t) £3 billion to fix something which in your case wasnt broken is a tad expensive !!

    Oh and by the way, as I have predicted many times before, the providers will be beating a weary path to the OFT claiming restriction of trade in the not too distant future because, UNLIKE you, their balance sheets are collapsing.

    RDR as many have said before is/was a sledgehammer to MISS a nut – oh yes RDR a great success in the bigger scheme of things

  13. RDR for the consumer is a total disaster unless you are one of the HNW who can pay a fee upfront. In a democratic society it should be upto the client to decide how they pay commission if they wish, fee if they wish. That choice has been taken away from them. £3 billion of costs which the consumer will ultimately have to pay for is not acceptable Any journalist who has never run a financial sevice company should keep quiet

  14. @ IFA

    The main difficulty I guess is attracting new clients but there again we are an established firm with ongoing fee arrangments with long standing clients. Our cash flow has suffered a little, but there is one enormous advantage of RDR – we control our income.

    As an example, suppose we charge £1,000 a year for our services. We may take this from say an investment contract. However, when we invoice the client for the £1,000, £800 of it is unregulated income and £200 is for advising on the investment. The £800 is VATable (if appropriate) but HMRC and the FSA can’t both lay claim to that income for VAT AND FSA fees.

  15. @ Liz. Thanks for some examples. However, why not charge from the fund on regular premium pensions? It’s only like going back 25 years to an initial period of low/nil allocation…which only stopped by the way because initial units was found to be a sneakier way of hiding the cost of commission. p.s. regular premium pensions haven’t paid any real commission for years anyway.

    Re : Investment Bonds – high allocations came with “establishment charges” and surrender penalties, they were simply a smoke and mirrors way of hiding adviser charges…again, fees can be taken from the bonds, but no longer disguised that’s all. I honestly don’t see the real problem (unless you were taking about 6% or something!).

    @ Derek Gair : No concrete examples as so often when people have a moan. Predictions of the end of the world and platitudes including “sledgehammers” etc are no use to me when running my business.

  16. I’m too busy to read all this and the comments – new biz enquiries are at unprecedented levels but I’m also turning away new clients now as not profitable enough – some existing clients are having (and willing) to pay more than they have to stay with me.

    RDR is forcing me to run my business as a business not as a ‘practice’ / citizens advice part time as I’ve done previously with a cross-subsidy.

    If that’s good overall I don’t know as there’s a level of new clients, I can’t afford to service now – but my income is certainly not falling!

  17. IFA/Anon (why are you anon ?)

    If you (and much more importantly your clients) are unaffected by RDR and things are exactly the same for you as they were prior to RDR why are you so concerned by the removal of the option of commission ?

    Perhaps much more importantly (and the best example you seek of all) why are you happy to pay your part of a £3 billion bill to fix something which in your case wasnt broken in the first place ?

    Free markets should determine what business model succeeds and which fails yours works for you let free markets and economics decide generally not regulators – what have you got to lose ?

    Time will ultimately tell its tale as far as RDR is concerned – that will not necessarily affect you or me but the bigger picture thats another matter altogether !

  18. Well whooppee dooo for you Mr anon, you are indeed a real star of the financial services industry, any chance of a few bob for a cup of tea mate?

  19. @IFA

    What the RDR has done is shown below;

    a) removed advice from the public by reducing adviser numbers by 20% and bank advisers by over 40%.

    b) removed the potential for cross-subsidies which enabled advisers to deal with lower net worth clients

    c) increased charges inasmuch as when adviser charges are added the overall cost is frequently higher than before

    d) ensured that ongoing costs are spread over a lower number of firms causing greater financial stress than before

    I could go on but to be truthful it is getting a tad boring

  20. @ IFA.

    I agree with you to a point. I would guess your clients tend to be in the middle some where. i.e. not HNW and not living hand to mouth. Very similar to my clients.

    I’m finding that for most clients RDR hasn’t resulted in too much of a change. Instead of mentioning the commission up front we now mention the adviser charge and give options as to how it is paid. No one has batted an eyelid and almost everyone has oppted to have the charge paid as a % of the investment by the receiving company. The only problems i have experienced have been the fault of providers, for example annuity providers will not pay my fee based on a % of the entire pension fund from the tax free lump sum. They will only base it on the fund after the PCLS has been taken and then it will be removed from the remaining fund. Not only does this mean i get less but also that the clients annuity income is hit. Can anyone explain the logic to me?

    That example aside i believe RDR, while not having too much of an impact on me individually, is going to have a huge detrimental effect on average Joe’s access to financial services and for me that makes it a failure.

    Just my humble opinion as usual.

  21. Client increments existing pension. The commission that used to be paid on that would have paid for his annual review. Now no commission but the charges on his pension are completely unchanged and the provider has trousered the clients (my) money. Meanwhile the client has to pay me £500 for this review

    Great consumer outcome FSA – you really got this right – not!

    Still think RDR is great Nic? If you do you really are on another planet…

  22. @IFA

    I’ve never taken more than 3% initial commission on a bond. Normally I would have take 2.0 to 2.5% so am not charging anything like 6% you estimated in your post. The illustrations speak for themselves – I obtained some before the RDR on an identical basis with the same level of adviser charges and the client was thousands of pounds worse off after 20 years under the new system. Many bonds also offered flexibility even before RDR without the high establishment charges you mention. No smoke and mirrors just plain facts and figures.

    Also with investment bonds if the client wishes to pay adviser fees out of the product this limits their ability to take a tax defferred income. Again a clear disadvantage.

    Pension / regular premium investments – yes we can (and do) charge in the way that you describe.
    But the fact remains that with fees as the only option a less well off customer only has a choice of find the money to pay the adviser upfront, monthly via a standing order to suchlike, or not have much of their first however many months contributions invested in the plan, or of course not receive any advice because the adviser cannot afford to advise them.

    Also although the commission on regular premium pensions has been fairly low in recent years it was still better than none and the client having to find the money themselves which many cannot afford.

    As mentioned above in another comment regarding reviewing pension plans with GARs etc the RDR now makes advice more expensive for these clients too without commission.

  23. There’s only one sure thing about the outcomes for RDR and that is Nic will have predicted the results either way.

  24. IFA. I think I agree with almost everything you have said. I knew this article would kick off quite a debate. IFAs really need to look beyond products and think about providing a service. This may of course not please the product providers who by now must think I am sitting here daydreaming. I am not. I am doing things for clients that they cannot or are not prepared to do for themselves and charging a fee. We should be considering where we can add value to a client’s circumstances and charg for providing that service. That’s what PROFESSIONALS do!

  25. Yes the cost of the RDR is well worth it.Why? Because the FSA/FCA are worth it. Worth what? Worth all their expenses, expensive paintings, plush office space, company cars, bonuses,leaving parties, no doubt there will be a lavish one tonight, before the FSA leave and are replaced next week by the bright new regulator. Well done nic. Happy Easter.
    I have no money to buy the kids an egg but bless you anyway.

  26. No-one wants to make excuses for the excesses of the past. Things had to change. For the benefit of the consumer. And they were changing, albeit slowly, before RDR.

    But RDR is a farce.

    Can an adviser make a non-advised sale?

    “Yes. Adviser doesn’t have to mean a person giving advice.”

    The question was mine. The answer, I kid you not, is from the horse’s (FSA) mouth. So is this.

    “Execution only is where no recommendation is made and no information given.”

    So how does the consumer know about the product? Search me.

    This whole regime is ludicrous. It has failed. SJP and others are still taking big initial commissions and calling them fees. The rubbish products are still finding their way onto the market.

    There has to be a better way, and it has to start with regulating the product and its presentation at source.

    Otherwise an expensive, over staffed and incompetent regulator will be hiring more expensive and incompetent researchers and consultants to prove that RDR has not worked, and that what is needed is yet another upheaval.

    Is there anyone out there who isn’t regulated but fancies making themselves a bloody nuisance with the FCA? Count me in.

  27. There was a part of me that resonated with what Nic was saying – the initial estimate of the cost of the RDR was wrong but who actually knows what the true cost will be? If we do then the initial costs could have been challenged at outset. So the “RDR cost” is somewhat nebulous.
    If we look at the medium to long term costs for consumers then it may well be a good idea that consumers can switch off trail – 0.5% or 1% over 10 or 20 years is quite a significant saving. But the effect over the longer term is affected by the initial short term costs.
    Let us keep it simple. We have timesheets and use hourly rates and I think it is fair to say that we (like many others) have lost the best part of a month’s income actually coming to terms with the RDR. It is not that we were unprepared – you just cannot get all your clients on board overnight and deal with the various barriers put up by providers which in fairness to them is part of their learning curve. If you lose one month’s income, to maintain turnover at your previous level you are talking about an increase in hourly rates of double figures. Clients pay Nic.
    This assumes of course that your costs do not go up but finding £300,000 of capital to meet capital adequacy adds a further double figure increase to our rates and when your factor in a 30% hike in regulatory fees, you can see that clients are either paying more or advisers and their staff are – with their livelihoods.
    Then Nic, what cost the misery and loss of personal time advisers have had to put up with?
    We have a client who lives near the proposed High Speed Rail Link. He had always planned to retire about now, sell up (down size) and use the capital released to help fund his retirement. Now he cannot sell. His plans, ambitions and lifestyle have been destroyed. The rail link may benefit the majority but there are many people (still a minority) whose ambitions has been cruelly destroyed with little sympathy shown by those who would never tolerate such treatment themselves. Likewise the implementation of the RDR, the majority (i.e. consumers) may benefit but some (advisers) will bear an unreasonable burden.

  28. How many of you only read Nic’s articles to see the adviser discussions as opposed to Nic’s points of view?

  29. Having read (or at least skimmed through) all these posts, a very significant question that seems to be merging is whether or not the overall costs of the industry and its services/products to consumers are showing any likelihood of coming down.

    Adviser and overt product costs may be under the cosh (advisers are always under the cosh) but so many OTHER costs are rising relentlessly, not least those of the regulator and the costs of complying with all its totally OTT reporting requirements. Consider:-

    1. GABRIEL Returns (do they servce any real useful purpose?),

    2. risk profiling for the simplest of client requirements,

    3. 50 page packages to document a recommendation to invest $£11,280 into an ISA,

    4. Rising FSCS levies (because of FSA failures),

    5. Rising PII costs (because of hindsight regulatory reviews),

    6. Rising network charges (because of all the extra work thrust onto them by the regulator),

    7. A largely out of control CMC industry that behaves like shoals of piranhas,

    8. The costs of highly questionable (some would say completely spurious) quangoes such as the MAS.

    The list goes on and on but, when all is said and done (which it never will be under the current regulatory regime), are consumers actually getting a better deal? Isn’t that what all this change is supposed to be about but which, so far, it has manifestly failed to achieve?

    I suggest that the principal beneficiaries of the RDR aren’t consumers at all but, instead, the bloody regulators who dreamt it all up and then lavishly embellished it ad infinitum. Consumer benefits from the RDR is just a myth rammed down the throats of those who are being forced to pay for it all.

  30. Never mind the new FCA starts after Easter and they have a new Exec board, none of which seen to have any FS qualifications or have given advice. Look like we will be in for some new initiatives following some Blue Sky thinking and feeding the new rules down for implemention by the minions along with the associated costs.
    Happy Easter

  31. Anon @ 4.45
    All of us.
    No one really cares what nick has to say.

  32. I agree with Nick Wardle and Alan Lakey. Like Nick W I could be sitting here saying I’m allrightn Jack, but as Alan said if you look at the wider picture RDIP is a MAS.

  33. In reply to anon, above, what’s interesting about this debate is the responses. I wrote a column in which I tried to do the following.

    a) I questioned the headline £2.6bn cost estimate for the RDR. I did so on the basis of actual figures and specific examples where lower costs than original estimates were becoming apparent, such as computers and infrastructure. I suggested the ultimate cost might be lower than the £2.6bn figure everyone is talking about. No-one has engaged with that point at all.

    b) I argued that focusing only on cost was not the correct way of approaching the RDR. It needs to be assessed against potential benefits. I referred to potential metrics the FSA is using to carry out this assessment in future and invited readers to focus on that. And, one would have thought, the fact that the industry as a whole is better qualified and has raised the bar professionally would have been seen as a plus. Again, no engagement with that argument. By the way, the reference to anecdotal evidence of cheaper products costs came from The Telegraph’s new personal finance editor Andrew Oxlade.

    c) Finally, I pointed out that the reason for the RDR and other impositions on the industry was because it had failed to deliver transparency and fairness to consumers over the past 20 years. No engagement with that argument either.

    You’ve made my case for me guys. Thanks.

  34. Nic you know the RDR is a SHAM.
    The gigantic cost of implementation is an absolute nonsense.
    You state-
    “Some are directly cost-benefit related; others focus on improved transparency, increased persistency and more “consumer engagement with the market”.”
    Absolute nonsense thought up by “intellectuals” (not you Nic) to manufacture highly paid jobs for themselves.
    We as IFA’s are in the real world, we talk to ordinary human beings. We cater for their needs and do this well , but are held back by bureaucrats who invent a shambles then jump ship with a golden handshake.
    Nic I actually read your article and it just confirmed to me that you do exactly the same as these people who run the FSA, you create sensationalism in journalism and you do it well (sorry to say) which keeps you in a well-paid job.
    You should join the FCA you certainly have the credentials.

  35. As far as I qm concerned the RDR is a disaster created by bereaucrats. Apart from pushing IFAs out of their livelihoods it has disenfranchised ordinary folk from getting independent financial advice. So my question is RDR is worth what to whom?

  36. I have had a 10yrs’ review on a client’s WOL mailed to me . Premium increased substantially. Over £2k commission if I don’t advise client; nothing if I do – either way client pays same, revised premium – great RDR outcome; what would you do, eh Nic?

  37. Two points: –

    1. A certain Skandanavian company’s call centre employee said to me last Thursday “If you increase the pension you will receive no commission or fee, UNLESS you are increasing it with no advice, in which case you can still receive commission.” How do you know if advice is given I asked? “There is a form and a box to tick. If you tick ‘No Advice Given” you can get commission”

    2. There are massive extra costs. Many ex-group members in PP’s that we have added singles to in the past for agreed/declared commission, now won’t pay commission and won’t adjust the contract. This makes the contract unworkable forcing a complete rethink of best advice for the client. This has had a major effect on our workload this tax year end.

  38. In the interests of transparency, lets have an RDR for the newspaper industry.
    It could be named The RRR or Retail Rag Review.
    All journo’s would need to state their qualifications, if any, at the top of a headline. They would have to state the source, including any government bodies, responsible for providing information. Also required would be details of any payments made to secure the story. State in both metric & imperial measurements against the story. All journo’s will need to requalify every five years, to keep their position. It will be worth it in the end, no matter how much it costs to implement.

  39. Nic. I’ve taken the opportunity to rewrite your reply:

    I wrote a column in which I tried to do the following:

    a) I decided to prod some IFA’s with a sharp stick by questioning a hypothetical estimate of the cost of RDR. This included the amazing tactic of claiming cost savings in systems and IT because several large players have exited the market. Then I wondered why nobody ‘engaged’ with the point.

    b) I didn’t get enough of a reaction so I took the glasses off the IFA and stamped on them by claiming there were a variety of ‘metrics’ in existence to ‘measure’ the success of RDR when I knew persistency was the only real candidate for any proper metrics. Again I wondered why nobody ‘engaged’.

    c) Still very upset I gave the IFA a ‘wedgie’ by pointing out the blindingly obvious and waving an admonishing finger whilst deliberately withholding the time machine so necessary in a retrospective telling off.

    I then told the, by now bleeding and sightless IFA it was all his fault before flouncing off clutching my can of lager and wearing my best wifebeater vest.

  40. I agree with Lee Rawding and Big Bottom. You achieve you aim Nic by talking a pile of …. IFAs still here post RDR and still disagreeing with you.

  41. @ nic cicutti

    No, the IFA comments do not make your case for you. I have just re-read your article (probably one of worst you have ever written and that is saying something) and most of the following comments are because a few people, rightly, got mad at one or two idiotic comments, partcularly from one supposed IFA who doesn’t seem to give a toss about anyone else but his own business. And even with that he/she is missing the increasing costs of regulation.
    Nic Cicutti, you are always making unqualified statements like the “anecdotal evidence” one. I aksed you, many months ago, in one of these comments a very simple and straightforward question as to what war right about taking away the client’s freedom of choice to pay fees or have the adviser be paid through commission and I am still waiting for you to give any answer, let alone an honest one.

    When reading one of your paragraphs I saw “the ultimate high cost of the RDR has been caused by the industry’s historic and occasionally dishonest resistance to all previous attempts to introduce more transparency and higher standards.” Just take out the words “of the RDR” and you could be talking about the debate on journalism.

  42. Patrick, if you are finding it difficult to find clients who find value in your service unless the costs are cloaked as “commission paid by the product-provider”, shouldn’t you consider another trade for which you are better suited and where selling on commission is still acceptable?

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