The Whitechurch Network now intends to remain fully independent after the RDR, despite previous plans to offer a restricted service.
Managing director Ian McIver says the company believes the new independence requirements are less onerous than it had previously feared.
The network has around 180 advisers, including 30 mortgage and general insurance advisers, with 90 per cent of investment advisers qualified to QCF level four. The firm completes a strategic review this month which will confirm its post-RDR compliance proposition.
McIver says: “There was a lot of paranoia about how difficult it would be to stay independent but we no longer think that will be the case. If we have the right processes and compliance in place, our appointed representatives will be comfortable with remaining independent.”
Tenet now expects the vast majority of its advisers will stay independent despite having predicted a significant swing to restricted. It also believes the new independence definition will not be as burdensome as first thought.
Tenet interviewed 400 advisers at 17 regional roadshows in February. When asked to confirm their likely advice route, based on their interpretation of RDR rules, 57 per cent were committed to an independent route, 20 per cent to a hybrid advice model and the remainder restricted.
But Tenet says after being presented with detailed analysis, 78 per cent said they would remain independent-only, 11 per cent would offer a hybrid model and 11 per cent opted for restricted.
Distribution and development director Keith Richards says: “The perception that independent advice after the RDR will increase both cost and risk may at first appear intuitive but we can find no meaningful evidence to support that notion.”