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Praise for FSA’s ‘positive’ thinking on RDR

The retail distribution review interim report is the most positive thing to come out of the FSA for years, says Informed Choice joint managing director Nick Bamford.

Speaking at Adviser Live 2008 at Olympia in London last week, Bamford praised the FSA for listening to the industry’s RDR responses and described the proposed split between advice and sales as “a perfectly viable solution”.

He said: “Consumers realise when they walk into a bank that advice is a very small part of what they are getting. They know it is actually a sales presentation and there is a market for that.”

Sifa managing director Ian Muirhead said the interim report acknowledges a movement that is already taking place in the sector.

He said that many of the top advisers are already striving for higher qualifications and moving toward customer-agreed remuneration. “The people with the motivation to have done this already do not need any more motivation. Advisers will naturally fall into one camp or the other,” he said.

Alpha to Omega managing director Richard Lindley said advisers now need to be looking forward and ensuring they are offering their clients an ongoing relationship.

Standard Life head of strategy Peter Jolly said consumers will pay for quality advice as long as that relationship is present.

He said: “The people who will feel the strain have not built up relationships with their clients. I suspect that the banks will suffer.”

But Intelligent Pensions managing director Steve Paterson went against the consenus and called on the FSA to rethink its plans to separate sales from advice. He said creating a sales category without advice was “nonsensical” and would not meet the needs of the mass market.

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