Consumer Panel work on the Retail Distribution Review
The FSA's Retail Distribution Review (RDR) came into force at the end of 2012. The Consumer Panel was involved in the development of the RDR from the outset and we believe it is one of the most significant developments in financial services regulation since the FSA's inception.
We were keen to see the RDR implemented as we believed it has the potential to deliver significant advantages to consumers, including much fairer and clearer advice. We were concerned to see the Treasury Committeeâ€™s July 2011 recommendation of a 12-month delay in RDR implementation.Â The Panel had previously submitted evidence to the inquiry, making clear our support.Â Â We reiterated our view that the RDR presents an opportunity for independent financial advisers to raise the perceived value of their advice, improve professional standards within the industry, and deliver a range of services and products that meet consumer needs.
We outlined to the Treasury Committee that our key outcomes for the RDR remain:
the elimination of bias in the market;
ensuring the adviser is the true agent of the consumer;
clarity over the costs of advice; and
appropriate qualifications for financial advisers.
You can read more about our views on the RDR in our 2010 position paper [PDF]. However, the tone of the debate has changed over time with many MPs recognising the importance of the RDR to consumers.Â Â Â The Panel has continued to engage with the FSA and other stakeholders during the implementation phase of the RDR.Â Â The Panel responded to the FSAâ€™s consultations CP11/25 and CP11/26 on adviser charging, legacy assets and disclosure.Â
Investment platforms are likely to become an increasingly significant part of the investment market with a future market potential of Â£1-2 trillion.Â The Panel lobbied successfully to ensure platforms conformed to the principles of the RDR. In March 2011 we also published a platforms position paper.Â This followed our research on platforms. You can also read our response to CP12/12Â
We strongly support efforts to increase professional standards across the financial services sector as we believe this will benefit consumers through improvements in the quality of services and products they purchase.Â The Panel believes that trust in financial services firms will only be restored once the industry can demonstrate objectively high conduct and knowledge.Â
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Working for consumers
9 August 2012 CP12/12** Payments to platform service providers and cash rebates from providers to consumers [PDF]
18 July 2011 Consumer Panel Press Release: 12 month RDR delay - a licence for consumer detriment
March 2011 Consumer Panel Platforms Position Paper [PDF]
February 2011 Consumer Panel Platforms Research [PDF]
January 2011 Consumer Panel submission to the Treasury Committee RDR Inquiry [PDF]
October 2010 Consumer Panel Position Paper on the RDR [PDF]
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