RDR delay boost for 500,000 clients

Sarah Davidson

July 19, 2011

Sesame Bankhall Group says the Treasury Select Committee’s proposed 12-month delay to the RDR would enable more advisers to get across the RDR finishing line – affecting up to half a million clients.

Sesame Bankhall Group executive chairman, Ivan Martin, said: “The economic turbulence of recent years has pitched adviser firms into an operating environment that is far removed from the one that existed when the FSA initiated the RDR in 2006.

“The TSC’s recommendation for a delay would enable more advisers to get across the RDR finishing line and reduce the advice gap that could otherwise deprive people of the valuable service they receive from their adviser.

“Indeed, we estimate this delay could mean an additional 500,000 clients across the UK could continue to receive pensions and investment advice from their IFAs, who would now be able to qualify in time.”

The firm has also called for its members to lobby for the introduction of a long-stop.

Martin said: “We welcome the TSC’s recommendation that the Committee on the Draft Financial Services Bill consider whether there is a compelling case for a long-stop.

“An open-ended liability from past business is an unfair and unacceptable burden on all professional firms.

“We will encourage our members to lobby MPs across the UK on this pivotal issue. We will strive for a solution that strikes the right balance between safeguarding consumers’ interests and delivering greater certainty and much needed future investment in the IFA sector.

“Only a buoyant financial advice profession can help people to protect and save for their future in sufficient numbers.”

Sesame added that greater regulatory accountability should be a key component of future change but warned advisers to continue to base their RDR plans on the facts as they stand.

George Higginson, chief operating officer at Sesame Bankhall Group, said: “We agree with the TSC’s comments that the creation of the Financial Conduct Authority provides an opportunity to examine the accountability mechanisms that will apply under the new system of financial regulation.

“People have every right to expect these seismic and expensive regulatory changes to deliver improvements, particularly when they have a direct impact on thousands of firms and millions of consumers.

“It is therefore critically important for all concerned that there is clear accountability in place across the new regulatory framework.

“Whilst we hope that the FSA takes note of the TSC’s recommendations and shows greater flexibility in respect of the RDR transition, this is clearly not something that our profession can rely on.

“Sesame Bankhall Group has a responsibility to its members and customers to continue to deliver guidance and support based on the facts as they stand.

“Our RDR support programme is geared towards helping advisers run successful businesses for many years to come and there can be no let up in this important work.”

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