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Skandia wants RDR split to apply across whole of the market

Skandia says it supports a split between advice and sales as part of the retail distribution review but it must be applied across the whole financial services market.

The company says consumers will not differentiate between the investment advice they receive under the new rules and advice on products outside the scope of the RDR.

It says if the new rules are applied only to part of the market, firms could adopt widely varying approaches when applying the RDR principles to products outside the investment sector.

It warns that an inconsistent consumer experience would damage the positive reputation that the FSA is seeking to build by raising professional standards and would result in the RDR failing in its key objective of improving outcomes for consumers.

Strategy director Michelle Cracknell says: “Consumer perception is their reality and so if the RDR is to be the success we all want it to be, the perception of consumers must be at the forefront of our thinking. To attain the credibility and reputation that will inspire consumer confidence, the industry needs to fully appreciate the benefit of standardising the experience for consumers.

“A clear distinction between advice and no advice and absolute clarity for consumers around how much they are paying and for what services should apply across the whole market. Making the processes consistent and predictable removes any feelings of distrust or intimidation that can spring from the fear of the unknown.”

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