RDR has ‘forced’ advisers into hands of paraplanners

The owner of Leicester-based Cambourne Financial Planning, said the regulatory regime has ushered in a more complex environment with regard to applications and new processes, forcing all advisory firms to consider using paraplanners.

Mr Loydall said: “For example, in the past doing a pension increment would have been a straightforward affair of putting the new money into the old plan.

“Now many providers cannot allow this or will only allow it with no payment – commission – and no improvement in terms for the client. Therefore, we are in a situation where a simple transaction needs a full search of the market as to where the new money should go, as in many cases we cannot simply accept that the new plan from the existing provider is the best option.”

He added that applications are “much more complex” than they used to be, which takes up further time in understanding them and working out what is required.

Mr Loydall added: “As a company, we do all of our paraplanning internally. Paraplanning has become even more important as a result of RDR which, in my opinion, has created far more paraplanning work for all advisers.”

A paraplanner’s reponse

Richard Allum, founder of Oxfordshire-based Paraplan Plus – which outsources paraplanners to advisory firms – said the company had seen an increase in the number of advisers wanting to work with the company in the two years leading up to RDR and, if anything, the number of enquiries have increased during 2013.

He said: “There is a positive desire to push for higher professional standards and develop more efficient processes. At the same time, the regulatory requirements for evidencing independence, suitability, investment processes and due diligence have become more formalised.

“This means that firms have, in some cases, sought to develop or bring in additional skills and expertise, and this is where paraplanners can shine.”