FSA releases RDR questionnaire for advisers

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is sending a retail distribution review (RDR) questionnaire to all advisers to gauge how ready firms are to implement the new requirements.

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The questionnaire, seen by Money Marketing, Fundweb’s sister publication, aims to assess where firms are currently in their RDR preparations and how they expect their business to change as a result of the RDR.

It includes questions on how many advisers will move to a client-facing role but no longer offer advice post-2012, how many advisers hold an appropriate qualification and the level of structured continuing professional development currently being carried out.

It also looks at the advice services firms plan to offer post-2012, a breakdown of current annual revenue from investment advice business and whether the RDR changes have been communicated to clients.

Providers have also been sent the questionnaire in relation to all sales forces that will be providing advice from the end of this year.

The FSA will shortly be sending out a “product manufacturers” survey examining providers’ RDR progress. Money Marketing understands the FSA’s RDR implementation team has also scheduled visits with providers to assess RDR readiness.

In October and November, the regulator sent providers a product manufacturers information request which included questions on how product offerings and providers’ distribution strategies might change post-2012.

An FSA spokeswoman says: “The responses will help inform us of gaps in knowledge and areas where help is needed.”

Jason Witcombe, director of Evolve Financial Planning, says: “Firms have had time to prepare for the changes and I do not think this is a pre-cursor to the RDR being delayed.”