FSA has published its RDR feedback statement, outlining its plans to help consumers more. It stresses the importance of clarity of services. Its main proposal is a plan to distinguish more clearly between independent advice and sales advice. Key elements are:
- independent advice will be for an agreed up-front fee. FSA would prefer that providers have no role in remuneration at all so there will be no product bias, but recognises this is not feasible. Advice will cover all investments and products so advisers ensure they meet customer needs. Higher professional standards will apply to advisers in this market;
- sales advice will concentrate on one or a limited range of providers. Advisers must make this clear at the outset. They must meet the same standards as independent advisers and show clearly the cost of advice.
Lord Adair Turner, speaking at FSA's RDR conference, noted the products which had highlighted regulatory imperfections to start with, and the risks of the current remuneration system for financial advisers. Jon Pain gave more details of FSA's strategy. FSA will consult on its policy proposals in 2009 and wants all changes to be in place by 2012. It has published various research papers it considered in the course of its review.
(Source: FSA/PN/139/2008 and Feedback Statement 08/6: Retail Distribution Review: Including Feedback on DP07/1 and the Interim Report, Costing Intermediary Services: Financial Assessment on Investment Intermediaries, Basic Advice regime – a post implementation review, the market for Basic Advice: report of research studies carried out by Volterra Consulting and Consumer Research 70–73)