Adviser bodies ‘out of step with members’

Treasury select committee members outlined serious concerns about the impact of the retail ­distribution review (RDR) last week, with some expressing frustration about the way adviser ­bodies responded to grilling by MPs.

Giving evidence to the committee last week, Robert Sinclair, a director of the Association of Independent Financial Advisers, and Steve Gazzard, the director of operations at the Institute of Financial Planning, were questioned by MPs over the large number of complaints they had been getting from IFA constituents about the RDR.

Sinclair told the committee that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) had lost its way with the RDR, which has taken many years to draft at huge cost to the industry. But MPs expressed concern that Sinclair’s and Gazzard’s answers did not reflect the anger that they had felt from financial advisers about the review. (article continues below)

Andrea Leadsom, a Conservative MP, said: “This whole discussion this morning brings out my worst fears, which is that trade bodies never really say what they think.”

Leadsom said she was concerned that the RDR would result in fewer ­people receiving advice and saving for their future. “You have a problem with some of these things but your message is not being heard,” she told the two representatives. “This is your chance to tell us what needs to be different. I wonder, are you actually taking it?”