Mass-market customers may be at a disadvantage as a result of the Financial Services Authority’s (FSA’s) proposals set out in its documentation for the retail distribution review (RDR).
This is the opinion of Scottish Widows, which – although it does support the FSA’s decision to bring about change in professional standards – also feels that the body’s objectives of increasing consumer trust could be undermined as assistance may be available to less people.
Head of retail distribution development at the company Robert Kerr voiced Scottish Widows’ primary concern, that the proposed revisions “will act to drive advice upmarket, with financial advice becoming the preserve of the wealthy”.
He called for the FSA to ensure that other models are developed that are capable of delivering “appropriate, quality advice”.
Mr Kerr’s views were supported by Stephen Gay of Aviva, who recently observed that improving the services available will lead to increased costs for debtors.
By Sarah Adie