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Global regulators look to UK's RDR

He said a key topic of debate was focused on the raising of standards and resolving conflicts of interest. "There is nothing sensationally different about what African regulators are discussing and what the UK experience has been, and many things we discussed are just as relevant to the UK today."

Mr Richards said there was no set timeline, however, for bringing RDR-style regimes into place, although "it is on every regulator's agenda".

He explained: "In some countries, the regulators are an extension of the government, and this can cause potential conflicts as politics can get in the way of reform, while in other regions, there is more of a separation so you are likely to see quicker moves to implement RDR-style change in jurisdictions where the regulators operate independently of government."

Derek Bradley, founder of advice community PanaceaAdviser, said: "I think that RDR is a great concept, to a point, but if it spreads as a standard, some countries and continents will need to overcome corruption first. I suspect that will be impossible in the short term. 

"For example, some countries on the African continent are rife with political corruption, and I think there may be some bigger issues to deal with first. And I suspect the scammer mails from places such Nigeria will not be stopped by a little bit of RDR-ness.

"I understand there can be a bit of a 'Project Fear' about commission based advice - after all it is sales, is it not?" But he warned when RDR got rid of commission as a means of paying for investment advice in the UK, the market has seen access to advice drop hugely.

Mr Bradley said this has been problematic for many people, adding: "The man from the Pru model in the 50s and 60s saw savings and protection covered and boosted without any sense of mis-selling."

Moreover, he said the RDR has not built up the 'six pillars' outlined by former Financial Services Authority chairman Callum McCarthy’s when he gave his introduction to RDR speech at Gleneagles in September 2006.

The so-called pillars on which RDR was to be founded were:

1.    an industry that engages with consumers in a way that delivers more clarity for them on products and services;

2.    a market which allows more consumers to have their needs and wants addressed;

3.    remuneration arrangements that allow competitive forces to work in favour of consumers;

4.    standards of professionalism that inspire consumer confidence and build trust;

5.    an industry where firms are sufficiently viable to deliver on their longer-term commitments and where they treat their customers fairly; 

6.    a regulatory framework that can support delivery of all of these aspirations and which does not inhibit future innovation where this benefits consumers.