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Whitechurch ditches restricted plan

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.”



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

  1. Good to hear. Obviously they have been advised by the FSA that the new definition of IFA will NOT apply and that being Independent will not require an adviser to be a Jack of all trades…. Those who wish to give specialist Independent advice will now be allowed to do so and still call themselves Independent ?

  2. Tent said “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”

    With the cost of regulation set to rise by 16% over the next year, the increasingly burdensome and unjust FSCS and FOS levies and costs on the iFA sector, do these guys live in the real world?

    The evidence will only become apparent when it happens and by then it is too late to reverse the process.

    It may be fashionable to talk up the prospects for the IFA sector, but the reality is already kicking in.

    I know these guys want to put a positive slant on everything but reality will soon disillusion them and disenfranchise many formerly profitable businesses.

    I would give this piece of advice to anyone even contemplating becoming an IFA, don’t, you can be fined for even the most innocent failings, no long stop for complaints, so an indefinite liability for potential loss and a regulator whose total lack of competence already evident, set to continue in the same vein when FCA takes over.

    That coupled with a need to increase fees to ensure solvency and profitability and you have the makings of a commercial meltdown.

    A recent survey found 50% of clients do not want to pay fees, preferring the commission system. Where do they go now?

    50% is an awful lot of people not willing to seek advice if they have to pay a fee.

  3. I am a Whitechurch AR and I just wanted to say that I am very happy with this news and that Whitechurch is a great network.

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