Labour has urged the FSA to offer some kind of grandfathering to experienced advisers concerned about reaching QCF level four requirements by the end of 2012.
Speaking in Monday’s Parliamentary debate on the RDR, Shadow Treasury minister Christopher Leslie said he understands and agrees with QCF level four for new entrants but believes experienced advisers should be offered a form of grandfathering.
He said: “Although I understand the move to a QCF level four standard, which seems entirely fair, it is sensible that there should be a mechanism to allow some sort of conversion of existing qualifications or existing experience to that new level four qualification. I cannot believe it is beyond the wit of the FSA, ministers and others to find some way of doing that.”
Cicero Consulting director Iain Anderson says the comments represent a change of heart from Labour. He says: “It is a change of line from Labour but, just as we have seen with Ed Miliband, Labour is finding and feeling its way to creating a new policy agenda and Leslie’s concerns about the RDR are one part of that journey.
“There were interventions from all three main parties and I think that is quite significant.”
Leslie told around 80 MPs he agreed with the FSA’s move to greater transparency through banning commission and introducing adviser-charging but warned of the effects of losing up to 20 per cent of the IFA market.
He said: “Is it really acceptable that between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of the profession could leave as a result of the retraining requirements, shrinking the availability of independent advice? We have to find ways to make sure any fee structures are dispersed through the course of the period of the product.”