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Nic Cicutti: The quiet RDR adjustment

One of the things I have learned in the years I have been writing this column is that, regardless of what is said, positive or negative, there will always be a variety of hostile responses.

I do not have any problems with that – it comes with the territory. Either way, this week I thought I would try to say something vaguely hopeful about the kind of debates over the retail distribution review that have been developing in the paper and on the website in recent months.

First, it is worth reminding ourselves of the tone of the debates a couple of years ago. If anyone said anything in support of the RDR back then, they were guaranteed to be shouted down.

Objections were focused primarily on two issues – obtaining the appropriate qualifications needed to practise after December 2012 and the change from commission-based remuneration to fees.

For a long time, my email inbox and the comments published below my columns were full of vitriol about the RDR’s iniquities, about how IFAs were facing devastation and how so many of them would leave the industry in January 2013.

All sorts of desperate attempts to see off the RDR were suggested and put into effect, including extensive lobbying of MPs on the Treasury select committee. Organisations seen as soft on the issue, such as Aifa, were routinely derided.

None of those plans was successful. The TSC did call for a 12-month delay to the introduction of the RDR in July last year but the FSA completely ignored its findings. Indeed, it rushed out a pre-prepared press release dismissing the committee’s report within hours of its publication.

The inevitability of the RDR’s introduction in nine months’ time has engendered a completely different mindset among advisers

At the time, I thought the FSA’s response was somewhat arrogant and potentially dangerous in that it risked the ire of TSC chairman Andrew Tyrie, a man who has taken his committee’s work much more seriously than some were prepared to give him credit for.

In hindsight, it seems clear the regulator’s response was designed, at least in part, to spell out a tough message to the financial services industry – if you are hoping for a reprieve in the implementation of the RDR, you can forget it. Once that message became clear, the rebellion against the RDR grew more and more muted.

One example springs to mind. Last November, Money Marketing reported that an enterprising IFA had launched an e-petition against the RDR, hoping to garner the 100,000 votes necessary to force a debate on the issue in Parliament.

The petition had raised 675 signatures at the last count, although my reference to it will doubtless add another half a dozen names to the sorry list.

More significantly, IFAs who were formerly adamant they would leave the profession if they were forced to obtain higher qualifications are now hard at study. Almost all will be qualified in time for the RDR, or shortly thereafter.

The discussion has shifted from the outright rejection of the RDR and even the commission issue to something completely different. Moving from fully independent to restricted advice is now talked about not so much in terms of being inadequate to cope with a different remuneration strategy but in terms of what kind of advice IFAs will be giving that best suits the needs of their existing and future clients.

Look at the responses to Martin Bamford’s recent article, in which he discusses the issue. He wrote in Money Marketing: “I suspect the decision for individual firms will be driven by a variety of considerations. What is best for the client will hopefully be the dominant factor – it should be the main consideration.” Most people agreed with him.

The IFP’s Nick Cann wrote: “There are a number of questions businesses should now be asking themselves ahead of deadline day and these should be asked with some emotional detachment and an element of pragmatism.

“Surveys suggest most intend or expect to stay independent in 2013 but there are some things to consider. Also, it pays to start with the client, which is still unusual for many in financial services.”

Nick argues that while these are personal decisions, they should be determined by the needs of clients, not the remuneration requirements of their advisers.

Again, while some of the responses to his article suggest people believe their clients will not mind either way, IFA Gill Cardy makes the valid point that to opt for restricted advice means that once you go down that route, you will never be able to advise clients who would have preferred the alternative.

In each case, the replies and the quality of the debate has clearly changed from the ranting that was so common 12 months ago. It is as if the inevitability of the RDR’s introduction in nine months’ time has engendered a completely different mindset among advisers.

I regard this as broadly positive. It means advisers are quietly adjusting to realities they would not previously have considered back then and, dare I say it, are on the way to becoming stronger and better-rounded IFAs as a result. Even so, I am not expecting any kind words in reply – do your worst.

Nic Cicutti can be contacted at nic@inspiredmoney.co.uk

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Comments

There are 44 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Great article Nic, beautifully crafted as ever. Can I also add that you are, judging by your photo, a handsome beast too. Beauty and brains, what luck!

  2. I agree that the RDR is now inevitable but I think you are reading the RDR debates on MM rather selectively. I see a degree of total despair in many posts (including some of my own). All I want is a clear set of rules to follow and a reasonable timescale in which to follow them. The FSA has provided neither and even 9 months before RDR is still tinkering and moving goal posts.

  3. No mention of the emerging practice of passporting in? Some have been doing this for a few years now, no FSCS bill to pay, no inconsistent FOS to worry about and more importantly lower PI costs.

    Oh, and they can call themselves independent to boot!

  4. What about the consumer E and Y have stated that neary 50% of consumers will not pay for advice. So we stay as IFA’s but only a few consumers will pay where does that leave those of us who stay. Where does it leave the consumer who needs advce Answers poor and going to banks and building societies who will make a nominal charge for tied advice and mis-sell to a greater degree than now

  5. Patricia Campbell 13th April 2012 at 11:02 am

    Perfectly worded yet again!
    I don’t quite think you have grasped the extent to which small Ifas have had to change to fit in for RDR. I was a reasonable sized business writer. In the region of £200000 per annum by a mix of trail fees and commission. I am also a director of a company and the compliance office. My last 2 years business earnings have reduced to £50000 each year. Reasons

    A. Adapting my business to fit RDR
    B. training my 4 advisers to fit with RDR
    C. Training my 13 back office staff to fit with RDR
    D. Preparing for all the new FSA changes implemented on small Ifas. You may say there have been none but finding time for the phone interview. The workshop interview and the one to one interview. And the expected visit to verify their findings does take up a lot of my time
    E. preparing further compliant work eg new engagement letters with all clients
    F. Preparing clients for the changes and yes there is changes as they have to be educated

    All this at my cost as for two years I have personally just continued to alter to adapt. Oh nearly forgot. Studying as well. I am not diploma qualified yet but will be by October as I felt the need to do the exams correct vial the CII route not some adapted other easier version which a lot have taken to

    Have your earnings reduced ??? No
    Have FSAs. NO
    Just the IFA adapting

    Back to sales for me now as that is my job in life and has been since 1979!!

  6. I’m out on December 31st. One of the old boys who couldn’t hack any more exams at an age where 25 years of IFA business isn’t worth anything!
    Good luck all, the Titanic couldn’t sink either!

  7. Julie Wilson, Pen-Life Chartered Financial Planner 13th April 2012 at 11:15 am

    To any of you old boys “out” on 31 December – we’d be more than happy for you to become Introducers to us – we’ve jumped through the RDR hoops and are raring to go!

  8. Becoming a headcase IFA 13th April 2012 at 11:24 am

    Unfortunately we cannot do our worst Nic, because MM won’t print anything even vaguely rude. However, you show yourself up as having little grasp of an IFA’s life and it is stupid to suggest that an IFA should not think (at all) about what they earn from the client. Even an idiot would know that you can’t work at a loss and if there are many fewer IFAs ten the public will also suffer.
    Of course if I add the word plonker will this see the light of day?

  9. So what Nic?
    The consumer doesn’t matter?
    All this self righteous twaddle does nothing to help the consumer.
    Are you trying to prove you and the regulators are right,that ‘i told you so’.
    When will you and the rest of the ‘journalists’ decide that you should be championing the rights of the consumer?
    Nic,if you feel you have enough ‘clout’ how about getting the real issue addressed?
    RDR is a self righteous approach to providing best advice and ignores reality.

  10. Sorry Nic, you have missed the point completely. We have now accepted that no matter how loud we shout and no matter how sensible are arguments, the FSA wont listen! So we are preparing for the inevitable because we want to survive. There will be a lot of advisors leave, but more importantly, a lot of middle and lower England wont get independant advice anymore. Where`s the TFC in that? A lot of IFAs have already binned off their poorer clients because they cant pay the fees, this saddens me.

  11. In essence what this article says is ” nothing concentrates the mind quite like being given the date of your execution”.

    Not terribly profound-what did you expect the mass of IFAs to do? I didn’t have to take any exams nor change any of my practices to conform with RDR but I am saddened by the whole affair-because the sovereignty of parliament has been damaged by the arrogance of the FSA.

    There is a serious lesson to be learnt from all this; never set up any such institution without it being answerable to the elected government of the day.

  12. Becoming a headcase IFA 13th April 2012 at 11:46 am

    Thank you Money Management, for allowing the use of the word plonker, in my reference to Nic.

  13. Are you saying many IFAs won’t leave?
    You are sadly mistaken Nic.

    At various meetings I go to I see less and less faces that were regulars. Either they have left or are in the process.

    The fact is Nic, you and your cohorts with your poisonous words in the media have demonised the financial planning profession and financial sales people.

    In the early 90s there were over 250000 financial sales people in UK. They went out on a daily basis selling people to save invest and protect.

    There was no issue of a debt black hole.

    Now there are less than 40000 financial sales people in UK. And UK has one of the highest personal debts of any country in the world.

    You and the FSA have missed the point of RDR. It’s the lack of distribution by financial sales people that is facing the UK population NOT the issue of commission or fees.

    As the E&Y reports says 50% of people won’t pay fees, then IFAs wont stay. We have families and FSA bills to pay.

  14. Hey Nick,
    Great to see you are having fun in Utopia.
    When do you get back mate ?

    A life time in financial services makes you cynical.

  15. Oh dear Nic you are such a joker, a life on stage would have suited you better!

    All the ranting and raving has not been listened too but I can assure you it hasn’t stopped!

    I have been in the business (running my own shop) employing both advisers and adim staff for over 32 years now and feel total rejected. I have written to all my clients informing them that my shop will no longer be taking calls after 31st December and that they need to find new homes. Would I have carried on employing people and running the business RDR without the RDR? Yes I would of for probably another 5-10 years! Still thats life and I join the others who just cant cope with being beaten daily anymore and will slide into retirement, hopefully without the need to stack shelfs at B&Q!!

  16. Not to worry Nic, I should imagine that post 2013 the responses to your articles will get less vitriolic as those of us ready for RDR look at your scribblings as mere bear baiting the ones who always react.. I love reading the comments of the IFAs who unfortunately will not make it. by posting a response it validates Nic as a journo.Who knows with no advisers responding then it would not be worth reading. Nic may need to re train or try to find a way to denegrate the remaining IFAs to attempt to get a reaction.

  17. Oh Nic, you just don’t understand do you? How can you, you don’t work in our industry, you just snipe at it from the sidelines!
    It’s not that we have stopped shouting, its just that we have given up, the FSA never listens!!

  18. Like it or not, a large number of IFAs have already quit; the main reason being either an unwillingness or an inability to take the required exams, or no wish to try and convert to a fee basis business. Those IFAs who aim for, and get, high net worths, will, in the main, probably be OK, as these will be OK with fees. The average net worths might be persuaded to pay fees eventually, but it will not be an easy task getting there. As for the low net worths, I think the phrase might just well be ‘bugg– off!’.

  19. Well done again Nic! You got the reaction you were looking for! But remember this, every dog has its day! You earn a living out of winding IFA up! Can you look yourself in the mirror!
    You ought to be working for the Sun! Thats a comic!

  20. I agree with Nick 12.24 Nick C you are good at slagging off IFA’s even though you have no idea about our industry. Sit down with a client analyse their needs then find out they cannot afford to pay. If you did this you might see us in a different light.

  21. C’mon Nic, next you’ll be telling us to join the SWP.

    Oops!

  22. Dear Anonymous(IFA)
    You are one of the self righteous I talked about.
    You think the world of non IFAs are against you!
    Poor deluded you.
    I have met many IFAs and so called ‘professional fee based advisors’.
    Are they any better on a face to face basis-probably not.
    The client has been disenfranchised by the FSA and people like you who have ‘assumed’ wrongly that the client needs fee base advice, as it is the only way to get good advice.
    How many times have you heard accusations against providers and sales people who want to sell their product without finding out about the client?
    That’s right-this is YOU and the others like you who have mistakenly assumed that the client only values fee based advisors.
    How about using the gift you were born with,2 ears and 1 mouth in that proportion!
    Just imagine fo you could ‘ask a client’ what they wanted and it wasn’t your own who had been brainwashed into thinking fee based advice was the only real advice!
    Fee based -my a…se!
    AMC, offset commissions to a clients credit account, and the rest,differential fees so the client can afford to remain with you and you will get trail!.
    Wake up you self righteous IFAs who have become besotted with your own importance.
    Remember the Emperor?
    Naked as the day he was born but everyone didn’t want to tell him.
    How true this is now for RDR and people like you.

  23. anonymous 12.57

    Is that you Hector? enjoying your pay off!

  24. I think that ultimately firms have had to accept the situation and make pragmatic decisions. The naysayers will shout and kick to bitter end whilst RDR adapters will be well underway and will survive.

    Some bits of RDR make sense, others are complete nonsense. What I sense has irked many advisers is the manner of introduction with a feeling that all of the apparent consultation, with the cost and uncertainty involved, was in reality a done deal from day 1. The FSA can do this because of its almost unique legal structure and lack of direct accountability.

    One question I have for you Nic is, if the FSA’s style of regulation is deemed to be appropriate and acceptable for the financial services industry and financial planning professions, should similar structures be imposed on every other industry, service and profession.

    I do include journalism here which hasn’t shown itself in the greatest light recently but I don’t want to tar everyone with the same brush!

  25. Hoisted by his own petard!

    The author appears have been very selective in his commentary on the state of the marketplace, backing his views with what again appears to be unsubstantiated and ill-researched (or even un-researched) data.

    My feeling is that he really would not make the cut in our role; as an IFA you need to be able to provide balanced, ‘whole of market’ opinion and fully research and substantiate all of your recommendations…But I guess he and the rest of us already know that being an IFA is not for him.

    Those that can, do…etc.

  26. anonymous 12.57

    Oh dear, you really do appear to be rather categorising the views of ‘clients’ whilst trying to rally their cause.

    I think that IFAs’ relationships with many hundreds of thousands of clients, up and down the land demonstrate as clearly as possible, the need for such a medium and if you believe that trail commission is some sort of stranglehold in this relationship then I would respectfully suggest that you need to spend a little bit of time ‘out in the field’ with a decent IFA.

    You don’t happen to have been a under-target casualty of some firm do you?

  27. @ anonymous 12.57

    You seem to have problems-seek help immediately!

    Fee based is just that-your remuneration is based on fees. These can be paid in a variety of ways and whilst it may be good for clients just to pay by cheque not all are willing or able to do so. We have been fee based for two years and certainly have had to adopt a variety of ways of getting those fees paid, New clients are not a problem-old clients are. If you have received commission years ago can you charge the client again? Renewal is part of old contracts-try turning it off.
    I had no problem particularly with commission-there were good and bad advisers then and will be in the post RDR world.
    Some advisers will move to fees that look like commissions-others will take cheques from clients. Neither is right or wrong.
    Nic’s point is good in general-adopting RDR business models is time consuming and difficult. Advisers need to move on these issues and berating other advisers and business models seems to non productive at best.

  28. It’s strange how people interpret the information in front of them. So often the analysis co-incides with previously conceived ideas. This is best described as lazy thinking.
    Looking at history I cannot help but notice a similarity between the perceived acquiescence of IFAs to the inevitability of RDR and the acquiescence of the Germans to rule by the Gestapo. Death by firing squad for opposing the controlling regime is not too distance from ejection from your chosen profession, and a possible economic death, for opposing the controlling regime.
    Whatever else one may think of IFAs they are not total masochists – or idiots.
    The question that is carefully avoided in the article is whether RDR is beneficial for clients. Control by the Gestapo turned out to be less than satisfactory for the German population, especially as the Gestapo would not listen to reason. Do I detect a vague similarity to the FSA, and the possibility of another poor outcome.
    Merely taking a hard line is hardly an edifying strategy if the business model is itself flawed. Whilst most IFAs will accede to the requirements of RDR it does not necessarily mean that they agree with its implementation. Rather it is a choice between making the best of a bad job or unemployment in a hostile economic climate.
    It is possible therefore that Mr Cicutti is reading more out of the situation than is warranted – not for the first time, but that appears to be the prerogative of a journalist. Don’t let facts get in the way of a good story.
    IFAs are adjusting to the new Real Politic, as they have done over the years as successive Chancellors have change the name of the advice game. Just because IFAs face the reality of RDR does not mean they agree with it.
    Nor is Mr Cicutti’s analysis of the FSA’s behaviour the only interpretation. There is a difference between issuing a tough message and being dogmatic. An alternative analysis is that the FSA got themselves so involved in the process of RDR they forgot what it was actually about. They descended into a form of GroupThink that would not permit anyone in the organisation to question the wisdom of what they were doing. Challenge from outside was totally verboten.
    There is not a scrap of evidence to underpin the intellectual stance the FSA have taken. That being so, does anyone find it surprising when they refuse to engage in discussion lest they find they are in the position of the Emporer’s New Clothes.
    But should the behaviour of IFAs be the centre of current analysis. Should it not be the consumer.
    Let’s re-read the quotations that Mr Cicutti uses. Another interpretation of them is that the new regime is so different to the old regime that IFAs have to be reminded that consumers are still the main object of business, rather than merely complying with a new level of highly complex regulations. Whilst FSA output has been copious, it has been far from clear on too many points. So the IFA is working hard on devising a business model that functions under the new regime. With such a focus it is timely to remind them that the consumer not the FSA should be the main purpose of the business. And that fact alone should raise questions in the mind of an intelligent observer.
    RDR is creating an entirely different mindset and business model. IFAs are right to concentrate on adapting to it if they wish to remain in business. That still does not mean that the regime is a sound one or beneficial to consumers. Merely that IFAs are intelligent enough to stop manning the barricades and are now trying to mitigate a possible disaster by other means.

  29. Dear Steve and dear Ken

    So the IFA is a new thing?
    So the clients are old things?
    So nere the twain shall meet?

    When Adam and Eve were made(about the sale time as the first insurance salesman) we did not imagine so many varieties,many of which still survive.
    In the past 30 years(you are right,I am not a new IFA) the industry has relied to a great extent on the progression of direct and tide salespeople into IFAs`(don’t forget the failed Life inspectors)
    As the expected fall out of the impact of RDR seems to be aimed at the older IFA we should not be surprised to see a large number of bumptious young IFAs emerging who think that qualifications, and being holier than though fee based,is the way of the world.
    You obviously feel that the interest of the client are categorized,what a shame that your training has lead you to believe this and I look forward to your indignation when a client doesn’t believe they are getting value for money based on the amount of your fee!!
    Are you really worth it,or have you been carried away with your own self importance as a qualified fee based adviser??

  30. Several good post above. Glen’s is particulalry good I think.
    Just because the Gestapo ended up controlling most of Europe, doesn’t mean the battle is over.
    You can either fight within the borders or leave and fight from outside.
    The FSA and the FCA are morally corrupt.

  31. I agree with SOME of what Nic has said here, but rather than a quiet acceptance of the RDR, I believe it has been more a case of reluctant acceptance by IFAs.

    Trying to get the seemingly unaccountable FSA to at least listen to some very valid concerns has been as difficult as it would be for Captain Schettini to recruit passengers for his next cruise.

    Make no mistake, whilst many IFAs like myself have embraced the CONCEPT of the RDR (and TCF), it is the shambolic way in which it has been introduced that has been most frustrating.

    The FSA’s arrogance has been staggering, and until very recently headed by an air-headed buffoon who denied anything had gone wrong on his ‘watch’. Just frightening. Good riddance.

    There appears to have been much money spent (wasted) on ‘ensuring’ our customers are treated fairly. Endless meetings have been held, many biscuits and much coffee and paper used, and many training companies much richer, but for what?.

    Knowing that I would need to reach Level 4, I start early on my studies; too early as it transpired because it was then discovered that I still had ‘gaps’ to fill. FSA way behind. So, more pointless study, more time away from my clients, whilst my pending tray got higher. So much for TCF.

    Pre-RDR, clients paid the IFA via fees or commission, and the IFA in turn paid the FSA their levy. Communications from the FSA to IFAs were less poisonous then, perhaps simply ‘informing’ us of future changes.

    Post RDR (we’re there now really) clients pay the IFA via fees or a fee deducted from the product (and the difference between that and commission is???). As a result of the horrendous waste of money, the IFA now pays a hugely increased levy to the FSA and in return we no longer receive information via communications; we receive ‘warnings’.

    And then there are the contradictory scenarios which beggar belief. It has been beaten into us that we must make a clear distinction between the cost of the PRODUCT and the cost of ADVICE. Fine, this effectively informs the client that advice is NEVER FREE. (maybe it would be a good idea to tell bank advisers this).

    However, we then sit back and watch the ‘Money Advice Service’ being set up, which, by the way, offer free advice!. (with Hobson on a £350k annual salary). This flies in the face of the FSA’s insistence that communications must be ‘clear, concise and not misleading’.

    The FSA also decided that complete transparency as far as costs and charges was a must. Fine, I agree wholeheartedly. But, they then throw a leaving party for one of their well-paid quangos but could not actually bring themselves to provide a breakdown of the cost of the hospitality (because apparently an accountant would need to do this which would cost more money…).

    And so, in order to continue treating my customers fairly and ensure I am still in business to help them, I will, thanks to the FSA, presumably need to keep increasing my fees.

    In 25 years, my customers’ needs have never changed. (‘What can I put in?’, What am I likely to get out?, ‘What happens to my money if I die’).

    It is only the regulators perception of what our customers’ need that has changed, and, by the way, at their expense. Shameful and shambolic.

  32. Seems to me that the single, independent IFA will soon be extinct, crushed by the triumvirate of the FSA, FoS and FSCS.

    As an ‘interested party’, having worked with a couple of superb IFA’s, who have saved me an awful lot of money over the years, it a great shame that these people are being squeezed out of financial services.

    As one of them said to me rather bitterly yesterday, where is Joe Public post-RDR going to go for advice … the banks.

    Oh dear.

  33. @ anonymous 4.20

    (I am assuming you are the same anonymous to which I directed my comments!). I don’t understand what you mean! I was agreeing with you in some ways-I just think you you are getting angry with the wrong people. As long as the client receives value for money what difference does it make how an adviser fee is paid? To decry people who say they are fee based but get paid by the provider has got to be wrong.
    Of course our clients’ interest are categorised-how could it be otherwise or are you saying all clients are the same.
    How many clients have you lost because of the size of the commission you received. Precious few I think. Now pitch yourself forward to post RDR and try making the same money!
    People who have not yet gone fee based have no idea of the rocky road ahead. I’ve been an adviser for 22 years and believe you me, do not think I am carried away with my self-importance. Quite the opposite in fact-I know that some people don’t need my advice and that is up to them. I don’t believe I can solve everyone’s problems. What I have leaned though is that co-operation and understanding work better than confrontation.

  34. Barclays as a multi tied operation points the way, ie they folded the operation. Says it all!

  35. “Looking at history I cannot help but notice a similarity between the perceived acquiescence of IFAs to the inevitability of RDR and the acquiescence of the Germans to rule by the Gestapo. Death by firing squad for opposing the controlling regime is not too distance from ejection from your chosen profession, and a possible economic death, for opposing the controlling regime.”

    Dear Glen, Your imagination is impressive but I’m almost sure there’s nothing in the RDR about executing IFAs by firing squad. If the rules had been changed on capital punishment I’m sure we would have heard.

  36. Nic, the jail cell rattler is back and as always determined to provoke the IFA community. You state; you know you’ll create a reaction and boy do you play the drums loud.

    “Even so, I am not expecting any kind words in reply – do your worst.”

    Well I’m not reacting to you this time because other posters have covered it all beautifully, my one reaction to you is to ignore whatever you’ve written, and deprive you of the oxygen you crave because as usual its total selective rubbish. See, that’s what I call

  37. Incompetent Regulators Award Team 15th April 2012 at 12:17 pm

    AS USUAL ARTICLES WRITTEN BY THIS GUY ARE RUBBISH

  38. Hello Nic, how are you, hope well and loooking forward to commenting on a smaller ifa sector. Heyho, at least I wont suffer more fees and levys to pay for the newly qualified grandees who will continue to sell the next Keydata et al.. I will retire and keep a watch on the supporters of RDR and how they justify the almighty waste of talent, money and time the whole exercise absorbed. Be interesting how you cover your tracks when it all fails to deliver and the EU tell you what to do next.

  39. So many of the comments on this seem to miss the point; the FSAs stance on the RDR is not driven from the perspective of protecting advisers remuneration.

    The constant moaning about reduced earnings, increased costs etc reveals once again that this industry is not where it needs to be. The regulators ‘interference’ is only necessary as customers have little or no faith in the industry as a whole. Continueing the ‘woe is me’ tales because its now expected that customers will have a better understanding of charges and the education of their adviser illustrate why the RDR exists, ie for the benefit of the customer.

  40. What’s happened is not so much a “quiet adjustment” as a weary caving-in to the immoveable will of the FSA, which has casually brushed aside all representations from various quarters for moderation and adaptation of the requirements of its RDR.

    Why would the grandfathering of advisers of long-standing and with clean track records be such a terrible idea? I’m studying for my AIFA exam, but an awful lot of what I’m having to learn either has only the most marginal relevance to what I actually do (e.g. General Insurance) or is stuff on which I wouldn’t attempt to formulate client-specific advice without checking the appropriate reference material.

    I don’t have a problem with CAR (though the banks may well do so), but the FSA’s rules on legacy business seem to be far more difficult, complicated and costly than they ever need be.

    It’s the same old problem ~ lack of accountability to any outside body with the power to say to the FSA: This is wrong/unreasonable/excessively costly/ignores the legitimate concerns being raised by those on whom you’re intent on foisting it/hasn’t been properly thought through and you aren’t going to do it.

    And as for the Statutory Code of Practice For Regulators……

  41. In life there are those that preach and those that do.

    Many an academic has and idea that they think may benefit the world but in practice never ask those actually involved whether they want and even need it.

    However as IFAs what choice do we have?

    Adapt, improvise and overcome these obstacles OR do nothing and die. Your choice….

  42. scott bennett | 16 Apr 2012 9:48 am

    “its now expected that customers will have a better understanding of charges and the education of their adviser illustrate why the RDR exists, ie for the benefit of the customer.”

    You mean the customers that can afford to pay for advice? The rest will know what the charges are and because they will percieve the value against the fact this advise used to be free, or seemed to be free in the past to them. We know differently of course, and we also know getting ‘free’ advice from banks can seriously damage your wealth but because it was free they trotted along in their millions. You know in your heart of hearts RDR is a mess and isn’t going to add any real value for the client. 4% – 6% – 8% or should that be 3% – 5% – 7%? My clients have fully understood the cost of doing business with me for the whole of the time I have been an IFA. Either that of the Key Facts Document/Illustration as prescribed by the FSA informing about charges/costs etc didn’t do its job properly? Ho Humm, what do you think ???

  43. I won’t be playing the IFA game come 2013 as just fed up with the whole sorry saga after 24 years in the business. Too much risk for my liking with FOS and FSCS liabilities and ever increasing FSA fees, no long stop etc etc……….just not a price I am willing to pay.

  44. I couldn’t be bothered writing my thoughts on Nic so I have copied & pasted anothers comments which mirrors my thoughts on him.
    AS USUAL ARTICLES WRITTEN BY THIS GUY ARE RUBBISH

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