1968: The High Commissioner – Thomas

FSA RDR Consumer Guidance

Today has seen an update to FSA RDR consumer guidance, which is   information to the general public about the Retail Distribution Review (RDR).  This can be found within the FSA website. This is meant to explain the changes that will effect all UK investors from January 2013.

RDR – Keeping it too simple

The 6 page pdf booklet is the FSA RDR consumer guidance and is brief, frankly I’m left wondering how on earth something that appears to be so simple has cost the financial services industry millions to adapt and prepare for. In short, we have reverted back to a “not quite” polarised industry – with “restricted” advisers and “independent” advisers. The definitions of each are still far from clear. I would also argue that the issue of how advice is paid for has been really poorly handled, though this is in part due to the vast number of computer systems with different approaches to the same fundamental problems. My stance has always been to be clear about the charges that we apply and to have these on a fee basis, so that they can be agreed and are not open to manipulation by advisers or product providers. Sadly I do not believe that this document conveys the issues well enough, rather “downplaying” the significance. Most people will not be able to afford financial planning because this process was started too late and made the fundamental mistake of banning commission. This is not an issue for our clients, but it is for millions of people who have been under the impression that their adviser works for free and occassionally collects a bit of commission. The FSA are aware of this problem, hence the links to the Money Advice Service, which indicates the advent of the online DIY approach that most will believe to be the only option…after all we can’t trust the banks can we?