‘No chance of winning RDR fight’, says ABI

Helen White, the acting director of life and savings at the Association of British Insurers (ABI), says the House of Commons’ debate on the retail distribution review (RDR) is a “desperate last attempt” by IFAs to fight the reforms, which has “no chance” of succeeding.

Conservative MPs Harriet Baldwin and Mark Garnier secured the parliamentary debate, due to be held on November 29, following intensive lobbying from their IFA constituents.

“Anybody with any sense knows it is the right way forward, it is sensible and it has to happen”

Helen White

Baldwin said: “This is a huge milestone for the many thousands of IFAs across the country who fear their livelihoods will be ruined by the implementation of the RDR.”

But White, a former Treasury policy adviser, dismisses the effect that the debate will have on the FSA reforms, which are set to come into force at the end of 2012.

She says: “I think it is a desperate last attempt to have an impact on the RDR, which I think has no chance of having any impact. Let’s be frank, these people are trying to stop it happening because they do not want it to happen, whereas anybody with any sense knows it is the right way forward, it is sensible and it has to happen. (article continues below)

“Some IFAs are trying to have a political argument about it because they do not like the sound of it and they do not want to take the exams. It is not going to go anywhere and it should not go anywhere. Harriett Baldwin has clearly had a big surgery bag full of complaints. It is purely political.”

Garnier says White’s comments are unfair. He says: “For the first time in the history of the RDR, we have got a parliamentary debate in front of the House of Commons talking about this. The important point is that unless we get stuck into this, nothing is going to happen. For somebody to write it off as a last ditch attempt is unfair.”