Aifa director general Stephen Gay says the Treasury select committee inquiry into the retail distribution review could be the last opportunity to influence the final outcome.
The TSC is currently deciding whether to take further action based on the written evidence it has received on whether the RDR will achieve its stated objectives.
The committee launched the consultation in November.
Speaking at the Tenet annual business conference in Ascot last week, Gay said he expects to be called before the committee as part of an oral evidence session on the RDR.
He said: “With the Treasury select committee hearing app – roaching, we may find the last opportunity to press for changes to the RDR, which could deliver an improved outcome. Is that likely? You would have to say it is possible rather than probable but it is our duty to argue strongly, though professionally, for improved outcomes and to point out there is clearly a risk of detriment to IFA firms and their customers.”
Gay feels the objective of improving access to advice has been cast aside by the regulator. He said: “One of the biggest problems with the RDR debate is that it has gone on for so long no one can remember what it was about in the first place. Was it about misselling? Was it about consumer access to advice? Was it about professionalism or sustainability? “It was about all of those things and some, such as consumer access to advice, have fallen by the wayside.”
Gay defended Aifa’s lobbying tactics. He said: “A pressure group can be very fierce about short-term objectives without needing to consider the longerterm consequences. Shouting about things can be great but it is easy to burn bridges.”
Gay argued it is the less visible trade associations, rather than pressure groups, that are “invited to the table” to influence regulatory policy.