CompaniesApr 10 2012

Aegon calls for FSA clarity on product suitability

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ByMichael Trudeau

The Financial Services Authority needs to further clarify the standards to which restricted advisers will have to demonstrate product suitability post-RDR, pensions provider Aegon has claimed.

Responding to the FSA’s guidance consultation on independent and restricted models, Aegon has called specifically for clearer definitions of how advisers ensure products are suitable for their clients.

Without specific examples of good and bad practise, Aegon argued that firms could interpret the guidance in ways that don’t best serve customers.

Steven Cameron, head of regulatory strategy at Aegon, said: “Our discussions with advisers highlight there are still many questions over the real differences between independent and restricted models.

“Full clarity of the regulatory differences would help all parties as future business models begin to emerge.”

Mr Cameron also called for a review of Treating Customers Fairly principles.

He said: “We’ve always believed that the FSA should revisit its TCF guidance as a result of the RDR.

“Adviser charging creates a fundamental shift in the relationships between providers, advisers and consumers. We’re also seeing new models emerging which change the boundaries between product providers, advisers and fund managers.

“How the various parties work together to deliver good customer outcomes needs further consideration.”

He added: “While we now have all the final RDR rules, there’s an urgent need for FSA guidance on the practical application of these.”