So RDR has been around for years and have we all rested on our laurels? I would suggest not.
From what I have seen, there is a lot of hard work being done in the independent financial adviser (IFA) sector. Many are refocusing their business, some having to make radical changes to survive in the brave new world that 2013 has to offer. In addition they are striving towards obtaining the extra qualifications or gap-fill they need in order to gain the holy grail, otherwise known as SPS (statement of professional standing). This all takes time.
So while there are still some advisers who remain shell-shocked that RDR is actually going to happen, the majority are spending considerable time on their ability to be ready and are well down that road.
If all the work is being done on the adviser side, could we say the same has happened on the product provider side? Frankly no and this is what makes me mad. The only thing many fund management groups, certain platforms and life and pension companies seem capable of is putting RDR as a discussion point for internal meetings but not actually making progress to the point that they can come out with firm details.
“If all the work is being done on the adviser side, could we say the same has happened on the product provider side?”
Now this strikes me as being both spectacularly unfair and misguided. IFAs need to have a firm understanding of which products will be offered, what maximum levels of remuneration can be taken from the product and how that can be structured, if they should wish to take the remuneration from the product. To not be able to provide that information until late this year is shameful and will have an impact on the financial forecasts IFAs can run for their businesses.
Of course I realise that you could argue that the FSA is still coming out with guidance on some pretty fundamental areas. However guess what? The same applies to advisers, yet most of us are pushing forward, refining and adapting on the process as we go, rather than not taking any action until days before 2013.
Look, RDR is on its way and if product providers only wake up to the fact that they need to establish firm details late this year then they can forget it. Wake up and get on with it.
Philippa Gee is managing director of Philippa Gee Wealth Management.