Panel hails end of the line for commission

28 September 2012

Giving a keynote speech at today’s PFS conference on the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) Kay Blair, Consumer Panel Vice Chair, has welcomed the end of commission in the investment market. From January 2013 the FSA’s RDR takes hold, outlawing such payments from providers to advisers.

The Panel has long championed the RDR on the basis it will drive greater transparency for consumers and, in the longer term, encourage consumers to shop around. Moreover, the Panel is keen to stress that it will usher in a new era of professionalism for advisers.

Kay Blair, Consumer Panel Vice Chair commented:
“We are finally reaching the end of the line in the long running struggle to see the RDR implemented. January 2013 will mark a new era for consumers with greater clarity over the costs of advice and appropriate qualifications for advisers.

The Panel has backed the RDR from the outset. Consumers will benefit greatly from knowing that advisers are acting in their clients’ interests, uninfluenced by payments made by product providers. It has taken many years of debate and deliberation to put in place a regulatory structure for investment advisers that is fitting for a profession with such a key role to play in the lives of so many consumers. It is also gratifying to note that the vast majority of the advisory profession is on track to meet the newly required professional standard. Figures from the CII show that 90% of members are either now qualified or in the process of becoming qualified to this standard ahead of the RDR deadline2.

Consumer perceptions of the financial services industry are at an all time low. However, the focus on professionalism and the strong code of ethics instilled in advisers by the RDR will prove highly significant. If investment advisers succeed in rising to the challenges and seizing the opportunities presented by the RDR, we may see January 2013 as the turning point where the financial services industry begins to regain public trust.

 

Notes to editors
  1. Details of the Personal Finance Society (PFS) conference are available here and here.
  2. Photographs and biographical details of Kay Blair are available on our website: http://www.fs-cp.org.uk/about_us/kay_blair.shtm
  3. The text of the speech is available here
  4. The Consumer Panel is a statutory body under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and was initially established by the Financial Services Authority in December 1998. The Panel advises the FSA on the interests and concerns of consumers and reports on the FSA's performance in meeting its objectives.
  5. The Panel’s membership is drawn from a broad range of backgrounds with expertise including market research, law, financial services industry, financial inclusion, European Regulation, financial regulation, consumer advice, campaigning, communications, compliance and later-life issues.
  6. The emphasis of the Panel's work is on activities that are regulated by the FSA, although it may also look at the impact on consumers of activities outside but related to the FSA's remit. More information about the Panel's work is available on our website.
  7. Panel members are appointed to serve a maximum of two terms of three years.
Friday, 28 September 2012