FSA chief executive Hector Sants has apologised for saying that losing 20 per cent of advisers as a result of the RDR is acceptable.
Giving evidence to the Treasury select committee last week, Sants said he had not intended to cause offence at an evidence session held in November but was laying out data from the cost-benefit analysis.
He said: “I am certainly happy to say I am sorry if I caused offence and distress, it is never our intention to cause distress in the language we use and I am more than happy to apologise for that. I try to be a mild-mannered individual.
“I was laying out the facts that lay behind the cost-benefit analysis which underlies the RDR. I was asked what those figures are and I think you would have found it odd if I had not been able to answer.”
He was responding to a question from select committee member and Conservative Party deputy chairman Michael Fallon, who said there had been “considerable anger” about the comments.
When pushed, Sants refused to be drawn on what percentage of the adviser market it would be acceptable to lose, saying it would be “very difficult” to judge.
Worldwide Financial Planning IFA Nick McBreen says: “I am not bothered about the apology at all. It is all tactical. You make the statement you want to make then when people get excited, you apologise. He is just saying what people want to hear. I thought the whole session made chilling viewing and the committee took a soft approach.”