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Reform being driven through too fast, says Thoresen

Aegon Scottish Equitable chief executive Otto Thoresen is warning that the timetable for implementing the retail distribution review reforms is too tight and could drive good advisers out of the industry.

At the annual Sesame symposium in London last week, Thoresen said reducing adviser numbers in this way will restrict consumer access to advice.

He said: “The timetable for ramping up independent advice seems to be more of a priority than developing new models in the mass market from the FSA’s perspective.
“We need to be very careful because the advice reforms add to cost and reduce access to advice. We must not get into a position where we are forcing good people out of the industry. People in this country need professional advice more now than ever before.

“It also seems like they are trying to move too fast. It might be very challenging for firms already under stress.”
Thoresen expressed disappointment that the RDR paper did not give further thought to the corporate market and suggested more work was needed on adviser charging.
He said: “The destination is right but here are big practical issues to resolve.

“The successful future of our industry depends on getting close to our customers and making ourselves deserving of their trust. I am convinced that the IFA market is a cornerstone around which that future can be built.”

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