The vast majority of those directly affected by these reforms will look back on where we were and where we are today and draw at least some satisfaction from it.
There is an analysis of the RDR that is seldom discussed. While the RDR was ultimately about increased professionalisation and a raising of standards, it is also a story of empowerment.
The true story of the RDR is that it provided advisers with the keys to escape from an unconscious bias that guides us all.
In a world of commission payments the likelihood is that people were more likely to be guided towards manufacturers and providers who bluntly make it more worth their while.
What the ban on commission ultimately did was open up the market entirely for advisers to be able to build and execute strategies for clients based on a holistic understanding of the market as best fits the client’s needs.
The utility of advice became more about the support and journey advisers would take clients on, rather than the fundamental sale of products to them.
Let’s be clear, a ‘sale’ is still a fundamental part of the industry but the real value that the RDR delivered was the evolution of that role towards holistic support.
Ten years on, it’s fair to say that the impact of the RDR has been largely positive.
What we have today certainly isn’t perfect and other issues have presented themselves since.
But I think the vast majority of those directly affected by these reforms will look back on where we were and where we are today and draw at least some satisfaction from it.
Simon Harrington is head of public affairs at Pimfa