Clearly the ramifications of RDR on both the industry and the consumer are likely to be widespread and will present themselves in the fullness of time.
There is evidence that pre-RDR training programmes are being shelved in many large UK financial institutions such as high street banks as they come to realise that the numbers do not add up in terms of being able to make money out of providing financial advice.
Likewise, the prognosis for economic gain in the post-RDR world seems slim at best for a huge numbers of IFAs, particularly the smaller firms, by all accounts many of whom will simply get out of the industry instead.
So with high street banks instead likely to focus their activities on other, more profitable, sectors of their business, there is going to be less financial advice readily available to the consumer.
With less than 20% of the UK population having their own private retirement provision in place, it is likely that this figure will only decrease further, which is bad news not only for the consumer but for the Government as well, who will ultimately be left footing the bill; a bill it cannot afford.
It is likely that the dwindling financial adviser community will continue to decline and the access to advice for the consumer will become a luxury for the wealthier elite i.e. those who can afford to pay for advice.
So, is RDR the solution or is it a motion by a regulator who has to be seen to be taking action in the fall out of the global financial crisis?
Having recently watched (again) the excellent documentary on the causes of the financial crisis “Inside Job”, we have come to realise that we cannot rely on any government backed regulator to ensure the consumer is not taken to the cleaners.
Whatever your view, RDR or sibling regulation in a different guise is coming to a town near you – wherever you are.