Former Treasury financial secretary Mark Hoban says the RDR was “nothing to do with me” as he called for FCA clarity around online advice rules.
Speaking at an event held by think tank Policy Exchange in Westminster last night Hoban, who was Treasury minister from May 2010 to September 2012, told Money Marketing the RDR was solely the responsibility of the FSA.
In a parliamentary debate on the RDR in October 2010, Hoban backed the RDR by claiming it would increase professionalism and transparency while attracting “fresh talent” to the advice market.
The Conservative MP argued advisers needed higher qualifications, comparing them to McDonald’s staff serving Big Macs.
But asked last night if the RDR rules had damaged savings, he said: “Let me just correct you; the RDR is nothing to do with me, it was the decision of the independent regulator. I know lots of IFAs hoped I would interfere with the regulator but that is not something I would make a practice of.”
Hoban said the rules around online advice need to be clear as there is a “big opportunity” for delivering mass market advice via the internet.
He said: “We need to make sure the regulatory system enables people to have advice models and serve the advice market. That does require regulatory certainty and guidance.
“If you got that then you put together quite a strong advice package and enable people to take control of their plans in retirement.”
Hoban also called for the Government to “focus” more on savers converting their pension pots into retirement income, and warned about the growing status of non-advised annuity brokers.
He said: “There is an issue around advice and distribution at retirement. I looked at the Financial Services Consumer Panel report and it was a powerful indictment of where we are at on non-advised sales and the websites out there. Those websites have mushroomed since reforms were introduced to help people shop around.”