Apfa says FCA RDR concerns are ‘teething problems’

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Apfa director general Chris Hannant

Apfa believes the Financial Conduct Authority’s review into how advisers are implementing the RDR shows firms have made good progress, and argues issues around charging disclosure are just “teething problems”.

In its findings today on how advisers have adapted to the RDR, the FCA said it was concerned about the way some advisers are explaining charges to clients and that restricted firms are not being clear enough about their status.

But Apfa director general Chris Hannant says the review is largely positive about advisers, given the scale of the RDR changes.

He says: “One issue raised is around the clarity of charging by firms. It is early days, but a lot of progress has been made in a short period with many firms acting in line with the rules. However, it is to be expected that in adapting to new ways of charging there will be some teething issues as companies refine the way they operate.

“The review also questions how firms represent themselves with regard to being independent or restricted. Our experience is that companies are very definite about the models they are now operating. It is clear however that for customers, there is need for improvement and greater clarity around the distinctions.

“We will be looking closely at the FCA’s research to see how we can help members learn from good practice in this area.”

Hannant added the regulator has recognised many advisers have got to grips with the RDR, and that this should now be translated into lower adviser fees.

He says: “Support from the FCA on this will not only help the adviser sector recover numbers, but also ensure it can look after its clients to the best of its ability.”