A landmark shake-up of the financial advice market came into effect on the 31st December 2012, forcing advisers to clearly explain their costs and services to customers. The aim is to provide consumers with the confidence that the advice they are given and products they are sold are best suited to their needs.
However, Retirement and Investment Solutions are already a step ahead. It is business as usual for our clients, as we already follow the new framework within the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) and have done so for the last 8 years.
The requirements and regulations created by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) address long-standing problems with how some organisations within the financial service industry operate. The FSA has set out three measures for financial advisers in investment management companies, banks, insurers and other firms to ensure they are fair to consumers.
1. Improve the clarity with which firms describe their services to consumers.
Firms offering financial advice must explicitly disclose and separately charge clients for their services. Many consumers receiving financial advice currently pay commission to their financial adviser, but under RDR, commission payments are abolished and replaced by a direct fee.
At Retirement and Investment Solutions we make sure that we are clear and transparent at all times and our uncomplicated and easy to quantify fee structure reflects this. Our investment and retirement planning fees are the same, regardless of product, provider or service. This guarantees that you receive totally impartial advice based on your specific needs and circumstances.
2. Advisory firms to clearly describe their services as either independent or restricted
Firms offering advice must clearly describe their services as either “independent” or “restricted” and explain what this means to the customer. An independent adviser will cover all products and allthe product providers in the market. A restricted adviser will cover a limited number of products and a may utilise a limited number of product providers in the market.
At Retirement and Investment Solutions, we focus all our energy into supporting those over 50 and have therefore made the decision to provide an advice service restricted to the investment and pension needs of the over 50s market. This enhances our ability to provide truly specialist retirement planning advice and solutions, perfectly suited to helping you achieve the retirement you dream of.
We will continue to recommend investments and pensions from the whole of market, but do not currently advise on specific types of investments, i.e. unregulated collectives, Venture Capital Trusts, Enterprise Investment Schemes etc.
3. Increase the professional standards of investment advisers.
Individual advisers working in advisory firms must adhere to consistent professional standards, including a code of ethics. The FSA has accredited eight professional bodies, including the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) and the IFS School of Finance, to provide RDR qualifications and issue statements of professional standing (SPS) to financial advisers. - Retirement and Investment Solutions’ advisors attained the qualifications needed to comply with the new requirements well in advance of the 31 December 2012 deadline.
At Retirement and Investment Solutions we believe that important financial arrangements, such as pensions and investment solutions, should be kept under regular review and proactively change according to your personal circumstances, investment conditions and legislation. If you have any questions about the service provided by Retirement and Investment Solutions, please feel free to contact us for more information.