True and Fair Campaign calls on FCA to implement ‘Six Point Plan’ to ensure RDR restores consumer protection and confidence
Gina Miller, who spearheads the True and Fair Campaign (www.trueandfaircampaign.com) has called on the Financial Conduct Authority (‘FCA’) to urgently address six core tasks to ensure that the forthcoming Retail Distribution Review (‘RDR’) does not fail in its stated intention to promote better consumer protection and restore trust in financial services.
The True and Fair Campaign’s Six Point Plan is:
- FCA should demonstrate it is not a prisoner of the industry – stop delegating key powers to the investment trade bodies; strong regulation and statutory rules are critical
- 100% transparency on charges and investments, policed by the FCA, with legal force. Voluntary codes do not work
- A Code of Ethics – with those who act against consumer interests: named, shamed and prosecuted (if needed)
- Regulation focused on reducing conflicts of interest, increasing competition, transparency and therefore overall trust
- FCA to enact wide-spread communication with industry prior to regulation to ensure it is clear, logical and effective
- Every key FCA decision judged not in isolation but in overall context to ensure consumer is better off
Gina Miller, co-founder of SCM Private and spearheaded of the True and Fair Campaign said, “Like so many others, we believe there are a number of issues associated with RDR that need urgent examination before 1 January 2013, which is why we have outlined this six point plan. Whilst we welcome Martin Wheatley’s intention to address issues such as transparency on costs and charging, we really need to engage with consumers and ensure they understand all the confusing rhetoric.
“Unless steps are taken to strengthen regulation, commit to 100% transparency on charges and holdings, and devise a Code of Ethics, there is a real risk that RDR could in fact kill mainstream financial advice rather than being a much-needed silver bullet. RDR could potentially result in millions of savers being denied independent advice by the very regulation which was meant to open it up for them. Many will be forced to invest via execution only platforms, frequently characterised by conflicts of interest where fund managers pay the platforms for ‘shelf space’, and where the recommendations frequently mislead consumers into believing they are receiving unbiased and independent advice.”
The True and Fair Campaign advocates that transparency, rather than just low fees is the key to better consumer protection. And that ALL fees should be published in ONE ticket price number. The True and Fair Label incorporates all costs – fund managers, platforms, advisers and also takes into account rebates or revenue from stock lending so for the first time consumers will be able to see the likely costs of investments and be able to make fully informed choices.
Posted By: True and Fair, 3:36 pm