RDR - what hope for the little man?
If the FSA’s initiative is designed to root out the bad in the industry, the dubious types are doing a good job of hiding.
Over the past few months Financial Adviser has been interviewing a range of financial advisers - largely sole traders - in some considerable depth over the RDR and how it affects them.
If there is one thing that seems to be consistent - if the FSA’s initiative is designed to root out the bad in the industry, the dubious types are doing a good job of hiding.
Admittedly those that agree to speak publicly about their business are likely to be self-selecting - the consciously bad types are hardly likely to volunteer to be scrutinised by a journalist.
But still, the sole trader financial adviser, of which there are thousands, does not seem to fit the stereotype that the FSA seems to portray. For unlike the regular bans and final notices, the average IFA seems, in the main to be in the business of offering a public service.
Those I have spoken to do not seem to be in the business of amking as much money as possible, but are just trying to help their clients, many of whom are far from wealthy, to extricate themselves from difficult financial situations, or plan for the future.
It has often been said that the RDR will rob many people of modest means, of independent financial advice and be forced to turn to the banks. Now we know what the culture is truly like, with the latest news about Barclays, and fears that others have got involved in manipulating Libor, what hope is there for the little person, who does not have financial clout but needs help with his endowment?
There are many established advisers soldiering on with their exams and changing their business models. I hope that many of them will find the capacity to keep their less wealthy clients, for the sake of the industry.