I received a call from a reader last week asking for advice on which of the three proposed adviser models would suit his situation best: independent, multi-tied or tied adviser?
Of the 55 proposals contained in the RDR discussion document, this is possibly the one which attracted the most feedback from the industry. The underlying theme of a number of responses were: if we have difficulty in distinguishing between the various options, how will the man in the street make sense of it, or benefit from knowing this?
The discussion paper used two sets of criteria to make the distinction:
- Product and product supplier choice and
- Freedom from product supplier choice
Under the first, the paper called for industry input on 6 aspects for further discussion.
The point is really that, until more clarity is provided after consideration of industry feedback, there is little one can do.
The same applies to Continuous Professional Development. The RDR proposals indicate that product providers will have to assume more responsibility to ensure that contracted advisers are equipped to provide appropriate information and advice, have the required product knowledge and TCF capacity to be able to do so.
Billy Seyffert, COO of Moonstone Compliance, feels quite strongly about this.
“As always, we keep our finger on the pulse of important aspects such as this. We have engaged with the regulatory authorities, and will continue to do so, in the interests of our clients, the industry and consumers in a consultative, rather than confrontational manner. When appropriate, we will engage to provide clarity to assist our clients in making the right decisions.”
A final word: changes such as those envisaged under RDR will not be implemented overnight, but phased in over an appropriate time. Whilst it would be unwise to not consider possible implications at this stage, one can only take appropriate action when the facts are known.