Advisers hope FSA chief executive Hector Sants will use his speech at the Aifa dinner next Wednesday to stamp his authority on the retail distribution review.
The dinner will be the first chance to get an insight into Sants’ thinking but opinion is divided on whether he will offer advisers an olive branch or take a hard-line stance.
The dinner has seen several landmark speeches from FSA and review chiefs over the years.
In 2002, then FSA chief Sir Howard Davies drew applause when he told delegates that the FSA would not regulate retrospectively and would work towards defining misselling.
In 2001, Ron Sandler, the head of the Treasury-commissioned review into long-term savings, stunned advisers by suggesting that clients were only satisfied because they thought advice was free when really it was paid for by the “opaque loan” known as commission.
Baigrie Davies director Amanda Davidson says: “We do not know what Hector is going to say but if he does make an announcement, it is likely to be regarding the RDR or treating customers fairly.”
Aifa deputy director general Fay Goddard says: “We will be interested to learn about FSA strategy on supervising small firms and to hear any thoughts the FSA has on the RDR.”