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Reform of financial advice must put customers first

Responding to publication today (Tuesday 29 April) of the FSA's feedback statement on the Retail Distribution Review, ABI Director General Stephen Haddrill said:

"The ABI believes that simple, low-risk products should be sold in simple ways so that consumers are not bound up in red tape and savings are re-energised. We support the FSA's willingness to establish such a market.

"In relation to complex matters where advice is needed, the ABI backs the FSA's commitment to higher professional standards for advisers. We must aim for excellence.

"We also support its belief that the perception of bias being created through the remuneration of advisers should be removed, in line with the ABI's suggestions for achieving this. We strongly believe that advisers' remuneration should be determined by consumers' needs and wishes, not by advisers' relationships with product providers.

"The ABI does not believe it is necessary to draw artificial distinctions between advisers and so to create complexity for consumers by applying different regulatory requirements to advisers of different types. All advice, whether given by an IFA or in a bank, must be suitable for the customer and all advisers must treat customers fairly under existing regulations. The combination of these requirements with professionalism and transparent payment systems for advisers is all that is necessary.

"We look forward to the continuing debate and value the close discussions already facilitated by the FSA."

Last updated 01/07/2016