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RBS to rebrand IFAs ‘specialist financial advice managers’

Advisers to be renamed as IFA unit cut to make way for new restricted advice service.

By Donia O'Loughlin | Published Jun 25, 2012 | comments

Royal Bank of Scotland’s IFA arm is set to go restricted under a restructure of the banks financial advice division, which saw it earlier this month announce plans to cut around 600 financial planning roles ahead of the Retail Distribution Review.

A total of 118 IFAs currently working in RBS Independent Financial Services will form the basis of the new restricted service, which is set to launch in October. The new unit will also house some of the advisers affected by the cuts last week.

RBS told FTAdviser it is currently “testing” a number of options/brands with its customers for the new advice/protection proposition, but it did say that advisers working in the new service will be called ‘specialist financial advice managers’.

RBS is presently researching its final panel position and the solutions will be delivered via the group and a group of third party suppliers.

A spokesperson for RBS said: “The present RBS group advice model is composed of IFAs and tied propositions across private bank and financial planning.

“The RDR legislation takes effect from 31 December 2012 and will have a fundamental effect on how financial institutions deliver advice to customers across the whole industry and for the workforce involved.

“From 31 December 2012, customers will be charged a fee for the advice they receive from a qualified professional. If our customers choose financial advice for investment products the costs will be made transparent at the outset.

“We’re committed to providing our customers with advice in line with our commitment to helpful banking. We’ve already provided our advisers with considerable support by way of ongoing development via the the Chartered Insurance Institute in preparation for RDR.”

As a response to the RDR, RBS announced last week it will be cutting the number of roles by 618 across the UK and creating 351 new roles. Approximately 200 roles will be based in key locations across the UK, with around 90 roles in Bristol, 50 in Manchester and less than 10 roles in Edinburgh.

The spokesperson said: “Having to cut jobs is the most difficult part of our work to rebuild RBS and repay taxpayers for their support. We continue to make efficiencies across our business to deliver greater value to our customers and shareholders.

“We will do all we can to support our staff, offer redeployment opportunities wherever possible, keeping compulsory redundancies to an absolute minimum.”

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