In this week’s policy white paper, the Tories propose scrapping the FSA, with the Bank of England given prudential powers and a new Consumer Protection Agency to regulate advisers.
Speaking to Money Marketing, Shadow Treasury Financial Secretary Mark Hoban says: “The RDR is an important process with potentially huge benefits for IFAs. It is in the interest of consumers and the industry to meet the challenges set out, including increasing access to advice. Advisers who give good advice to consumers have nothing to fear from this.”
But when asked if the Conservatives are committed to a 2012 deadline for compliance with the RDR proposals, Hoban says: “I don’t know I can answer that.”
Beachcroft Regulatory Consulting managing director Richard Hobbs says advisers should not assume the RDR will go ahead under a Tory Government. He says: “My advice for advisers is to lobby with particular vigour on the changes they want to see made to the RDR and to delay expensive re-engineering until after the general election when we can see more clearly where the land lies.”
Cicero Consulting managing director Iain Anderson says: “Any new structures will take time to bed in. The trajectory of the RDR is likely to get delayed. It may not be called the RDR any more but the underlying thinking is still likely to emerge at the other end.”
Simplybiz chairman Ken Davy says the RDR should be delayed to take account of a likely change in Government and new European regulations planned for 2014. He says: “These proposals, combined with the certainty of a general election in less than a year, shine a spotlight on the RDR, particularly the unseemly haste with which the FSA is trying to steamroller the far-reaching, radical and expensive RDR proposals through.”
But Personal Finance Society chief executive Fay Goddard says: “Against this background of political uncertainty, doing nothing would seem to be a very high-risk strategy and one that could see firms putting their entire business at risk. Our view is that the RDR will go ahead as laid out.”