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‘Nothing to do with me’: Mark Hoban washes his hands of the RDR

Former Treasury financial secretary Mark Hoban said the RDR was “nothing to do with me” as he called for regulator clarity around online advice rules.

Speaking at an event held by think-tank Policy Exchange in Westminster last week, 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 that advisers needed higher qualifications, comparing them with McDonald’s staff serving Big Macs.

But when asked last week if he thought 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 requires regulatory certainty and guidance.”

Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey says: “Hoban was a mouthpiece for the FSA. He could have said the RDR would have negative consequences but he did nothing because it was the easier option.”

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