CompaniesOct 29 2012

European IFA body: Pre-RDR exodus predictions overblown

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ByMichael Trudeau

A predicted wave of advisers leaving the UK in advance of the Retail Distribution Review has not materialised, the chief executive European financial services trade body has said.

According to Paul Stanfield, chief executive of the Federation of European IFAs, many people - including himself - had predicted the approach of the RDR would spur a surge of advisers to leave the United Kingdom, move their base of operations to Europe and passport their business back in to the UK to circumvent some of the more onerous regulatory requirements.

In October of last year, Mr Stanfield told FTAdviser that Feifa was seeing more interest in passporting, with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme levy often cited as a reason for leaving.

At the time he warned that advisers might not realise how risky it was moving countries of business and could fall afoul of local or international regulators as well as the Financial Services Authority. While there has been a small increase however, the trickle of advisers leaving the country has not turned into a flood as RDR gets closer.

Mr Stanfield said: “Over the last couple of years we have had a situation where we have gone from people saying we could have 50 per cent of IFAs disappearing and that’s gone down to 8 per cent. That’s why we haven’t seen the rapid rise in advisers emerging.

“I know a number of advisers who have moved abroad or intended to, but it hasn’t been as significant an increase as we might have expected two or three years ago.”

He added that such numbers are hard to pin down as there is no central agency to compile a definitive quantity. As well, more advisers could be migrating to the Middle East due to economic conditions.