CompaniesMay 17 2013

IFA: Life offices struggling with RDR move away from sales

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Financial advisers were better prepared for the Retail Distribution Review than providers, many of whom are still slowly getting to grips with the regulation and in particular its move away from a focus on selling products, according to on IFA.

In an interview with FTAdviser, to be published later today (16 May), Duncan Carter, director at Kirkham-based Clearwater Financial Planning, highlighted difficulties in the new world working with providers that are adapting differently to the RDR.

In particular he said some providers - and life offices especially - are still struggling to adjust to a shift in focus for advisers and “the fact that it’s not just about selling products”.

He said: “Some firms have been quicker than others. Some firms have been caught out by old technology and not really doing what they want it to do; others are better prepared.

“Some providers, particularly the life offices, are struggling to see where they want to be in the new world. And I think they even now, when we talk to reps from providers, they are behind the curve in many ways.

“They are still trying to get their head around the fact that it’s not just about selling products, so that has been our biggest issue.”

Mr Carter highlighted how providers have had the same amount of time getting ready for the RDR but advisers seem to have streamlined it more, adding that some providers are still as much as 18 months away from being fully reconciled with the demands of the new regime.

He said: “Providers have had just as much time and I think they felt possibly they could influence the outcome of it more than they have been able to, so maybe they felt that their ability to persuade or influence the regulator has been slightly overstated.

“It has been an interesting transition and I think we will see it for another 18 months to a year yet as everything falls into place.

“But I think for the most part advisers are better placed than providers. We know some advisory firms who were sort of more sales driven, more transactional, rather than advisory and we know that they struggled or bit the bullet and retired but most guys we talk to were ready.

“Maybe there was some fine tuning at the end, but most firms were pretty well prepared.”

The full interview with Mr Carter will be published later today.