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Thursday July 27th, 2017 

News Archive - November 2012

All change (again!)

14/11/2012

We have been busy this month preparing ourselves for the changes that will be introduced on 1 January 2013. These are as a result of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) which has been on the lips of every financial adviser for the last 3 years or more, and has recently had some press coverage, although I am certain that for the vast majority of people the term would mean absolutely nothing.

The idea of the RDR was to review the way that financial advice is provided in the UK, to develop a service that was more transparent for consumers and thereby to try to restore public confidence in financial advice.

A major part of the RDR was to make advisers achieve a higher level of minimum qualification in order to remain advising after 1 Jan 2013. I think that this is a good thing and it will hopefully mean that in the future people treat financial advisers more as professional people like accountants, rather than as insurance salesmen. 

Another element of the RDR is to make all payments received by advisers more transparent. This means that some investments that previously included a built-in payment to advisers will now be ‘unbundled’ and the client will get the choice of whether their adviser is paid an ongoing amount or not.

If an adviser is paid an ongoing fee then they should provide a service for it.  The difficult part is to evaluate how much it costs to provide this service and to ensure that the amount received by the adviser covers those costs. The general worry is that clients with smaller pots will not find it cost-effective to pay the amount required by advisers. If this is the case and 'mass market' clients are not willing to pay fees for advice, then advisers may well leave the profession, thus pushing prices up higher and making financial advice the preserve of the more wealthy.  This is exactly what the RDR was designed to avoid!

To give my opinion – I am keen to remain an independent financial adviser, as I get a lot of enjoyment out of helping people to understand their options and to make informed decisions about their future. I believe that I offer a very competitively priced service and that my advice can be of great value to my clients.  Therefore I will be ‘carrying on regardless’ into 2013 and I hope that people in Macclesfield and the surrounding area will continue to come to me for unbiased financial advice.  

Contact Mulberry Financial if you would like to discuss the forthcoming changes.     

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