On June 27, the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) published the first proposals for discussion from its Retail Distribution Review (RDR) project launched in June 2006. DP07/1 A Review of Retail Distribution follows six months of work looking at the causes of problems in the UK retail investment market.

The discussion paper seeks views on current market standards, including the growth in the use of online trading platforms, cost-effective ways of providing advice to a wider range of consumers and improving consumer understanding. A core proposal of the paper is the improvement of the regulated investment advice market by dividing it into two parts: (i) professional financial planning and advisory service, and (ii) primary advice.

The comment period will end on December 31 and the FSA aims to publish a feedback statement in Q2 2008. A companion discussion paper, DP07/2 Platforms: the role of wraps and fund supermarkets with the same comment period, seeks industry views on standards that should be met by online platforms used by intermediaries (and sometimes consumers directly) to view and administer investment portfolios.