RDR CP: ABI concern over higher qualifications for simplified advisers

The Association of British Insurers has raised concerns that those offering simplified advice will have to obtain the same minimum qualifications as those offering full independent advice.

The ABI is disappointed that all advisers who offer simplified advice will have to obtain QCF level four under the latest retail distribution review consultation paper proposals.

Director of life and savings Maggie Craig says: “We have serious concerns this will make it economically unrealistic to offer straightforward and transparent sales for those who want affordable access to simple products.

“Not least because any adviser who is fully qualified is more likely to be attracted to the higher rewards for giving full advice.”

The ABI also called the new split between independent, restricted advice and non-advised sales revealed in this week’s Money Marketing , and the sub-categories beneath these, a step backwards.

Craig says: “We called for clear labelling of advice, to attract those who have never received financial advice.

“It is therefore a step backwards that the FSA has today introduced a complex new matrix of options such as independent advice, restricted advice, basic advice and streamlined advice sales.”

She adds: “There is a serious risk of customer confusion in the current proposed labelling.”

The ABI is also disappointed the FSA has not adopted its proposals to allow factoring and argues that for consumers looking to make smaller regular savings, a one-off payment for advice could put them off seeking it.

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