View more on these topics

RDR put squeeze on learning and earning

For IFAs, the dominant issue of 2009 was the retail distribution review. June saw the publication of the FSA’s updated version of the future of regulation post-2012.

A central concern was the labelling of the different avenues of advice and sales of financial products. The RDR outlined plans for independent, restricted and simplified advisers but the requirements remain unclear.

Advisers pushed for better definitions throughout and it is predicted that some may turn their backs on the independent moniker.

Qualifications are another central issue raised in the RDR. June’s update ruled out grandfathering as an option for IFAs and it confirmed that all advisers must reach QCF level 4 by the end of 2012.

Many older advisers hit out at this demand amid fears they would be forced out of the industry. In November, Aifa warned it would launch a judicial review if mandatory requirements were not dropped. But despite this threat, it seems that for many advisers, 2010 will be a year for studying.

The RDR also detailed plans to ban commission payments, leading to widespread concerns that advice will become an option only for the wealthy.

As the regulator prepares to publish its latest update on the RDR before the end of December, the debate on the future of the IFA regulatory landscape will rumble on into next year.

Away from the IFA market, 2009 will be remembered as the year of bankers’ bonuses. Public anger over the speed and size of the payouts proposed for 2009 so soon after the near-collapse of the banking system prompted the Government to propose measures to curb bankers’ pay and conditions.

A new bill in this year’s Queen’s speech would give the FSA the power to oversee contracts, to create a committee to watch over the work of the tripartite regulatory system and raise money from financial services firms to pay for consumer financial education.

The pre-Budget report also introduced 50 per cent tax on bank bonuses.

Europe also featured on the regulatory map this year. Solvency II received approval by the European Commission in June and will come into force. Many of the details have yet to be finalised but UK-based life companies could be hit by tougher capital adequacy rules and standard annuity business are a particular area of concern.

The European Commission has also been undertaking its own wide-reaching review of financial regulation and an increase in EU supervision of the markets is possible.

The Conservatives set out plans to scrap the FSA, replacing it with a consumer protection agency and handing regulatory supervision to the Bank of England.

Recommended

PBR pessimism could lift the stockmarket in 2010

Fidelity International head of UK retail sales Peter Hicks says the Government’s economic pessimism in the pre-Budget report could boost the stockmarket in 2010. Chancellor Alistair Darling said the UK economy will have contracted by 4.75 per cent by the end of the year. He conc- eded that the economy will have shrunk by more […]

3

New buyer may sell off James Hay wrap

IPS Partnership owner IFG Group could sell the James Hay wrap after it takes over the firm in February in a deal worth £35m. The Sipp specialist revealed last week that it is set to buy the firm from Santander. IFG is proposing to raise £45.3m from shareholders. IPS, which has 8,000 Sipp clients and […]

Insider dealers are jailed

Former corporate broker intern Matthew Uberoi and his father Neel Uberoi have been sentenced to 12 and 24 months in prison respectively for insider dealing. Matthew Uberoi was an intern at a corporate broking firm during summer 2006 and worked on takeovers and other price-sensitive deals. The FSA says he passed inside information to his […]

The savvy consumer

In last year’s FCA thematic review of the mortgage market, one of the key things highlighted was the “savvy consumer”. That’s the client who comes in the door with a very clear idea of what they need and expect you to get them it. They don’t think they need advice, they have after all consulted […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment