Garnier: No RDR review agreed, but we’d still like to do it

Mark Garnier has dispelled rumours that an official review of the Retail Distribution Review by the Treasury Select Committee has been agreed, though he reiterated he is “quite keen” such a review should be undertaken.

Speaking to FTAdviser, Mr Garnier stated no official timetable or plan was in place for such a review, despite reports indicating that he had announced a review would take place next year. He said the earliest such a review could take place would be summer 2014.

Mr Garnier’s comments came during a discussion in the House of Commons on Wednesday evening (4 September), at which he appeared in a personal capacity and not as a representative of the Treasury Committee.

“During the course of ongoing discussions I raised that we should take another look at the RDR. We all agreed that we should take another look at it... But there is no sort of formal announcement about these things.

“I have suggested it goes on to the agenda as something we ought to follow up on between now and the end of this Parliament.

Mr Garnier, a former investment banker, has been an outspoken critic of some elements of the RDR in the past.

During a grilling of Sir Hector Sants he rebuked the former chief executive for holding the committee and parliament “in contempt”, after the watchdog dismissed the committee’s calls for a delay to the RDR in an embargoed press release timed to coincide with the release of its 2011 report into the rule changes.

He also spoke out against the commission ban at the heart of the RDR when it was revealed that the European Commission was taking a less draconian approach with its Markets in Financial Instruments Directive.

Mr Garnier told FTAdviser: “I’m certainly quite keen that it [a review into RDR] does happen, but that’s it. In the broadest sense it is hoped to be part of the future programme of the Treasury Committee.

“If we got another massive scandal coming up, things get knocked off it. It’s difficult to say ‘absolutely yes we will definitely do it’ because any number of things can happen.”

A source close to the committee told FTAdviser that a review of the RDR is something that most if not all of the 13 members are supportive of and that they have all “done a lot of work” on the RDR.

A spokesperson for the committee said: “The possibility of conducting further work on the RDR next year has been discussed by the Committee. At present, no such inquiry has been agreed or announced by the Committee.”