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Stop moaning and act professionally on RDR

Response to the online debate following last week’s column by Tony Byrne on preparing for the RDR

It is a given that qualifications are not the be-all and end-all in any walk of life. It is the blend of academic, vocational and professional qualifications coupled with hard experience that provides the best results. There are not many top QCs or brain surgeons knocking around who only have an O-level in metalwork.

As a fledgling profession, it is not good enough to simply hark back to the usual mantras that “my clients love me” or “I’ve been doing this for 30 years” as a justification for maintaining the status quo. I am no apologist for the RDR, the FSA or any other over-intellectualised initiative that does not improve our clients lot one jot but I do passionately care about the work we do and I do believe that independence is best.

What we cannot do is just carp on and moan, that is exactly what led to the RDR with its significant warts and all being imposed on us. It would have been better if the necessary change had come from within but it did not on the whole. QED.

So, back to Tony and his mission to improve his knowledge and professional standing. Why is that a bad thing? If he does everything that his detractors do for his clients and expands his learning, on average, are his clients going to get a better or worse service as a result?

I realise that with only 26 years experience, I am a Johnny come lately for whom qualifications, jobs at the FSA, working for the IFP/PFS/IFP et al and a huge ego are my raison d’etre but some of the comments here are hugely depressing. As mentioned earlier, we are stuck with the RDR, etc, so it needs to be dealt with. A professional response will generate a better result for everyone.

Duncan Carter


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There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Just one question Duncan, do you have an O level in metalwork? 🙂

  2. Tony, you raise a fairly generic and relevant point here that generally the insurance industry often hasn’t taken the initiative or done sufficiently well in putting forward its combined view of how things could be better – in advice and other areas too.

    For example, instead of putting forward proposals to regulators for comment, too often there has been a wait for rules to be delivered. One result has been a lack of future flexibility, as the rules then define only one possible operating approach, which is not flexible to market change – where a proposed operational approach put forward for regulator approval could be updated as needs change and put forward again for acceptance.

    Our boards are responsible to run these firms for the benefit of customers and investors and while the FSA has often been completely justified in acting when the industry has been sloppy operationally or indecisive in making progress, the ownership and responsibility of management cannot be shed to the regulator.

    It’s in our own hands to identify, propose and drive professional improvement – if we choose to.

  3. Duncan Carter 23rd May 2012 at 6:44 pm

    @Phil, your one liner made me laugh – My 14 year old daughter would use the LOL TLA but I’d probaly be accused of doing a Dave!

    No I haven’t as it happens; I couldn’t quite see the point of making a grappling hook in 3rd form so gave it up! I pinched the line from Paul Merton as it seemed to fit!

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