A group of MPs will next year evaluate the impact of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) - with a particular focus on the ban on commission - in what represents the first independent, external probe into the RDR's influence.
The review, to begin in April next year, will be spearheaded by the Treasury Select Committee (TSC), whose 13 MP representatives will examine written submissions and carry out face-to-face interviews.
It will invite all stakeholders, including financial advisers, to submit evidence. It will also take into account the views of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is carrying out its own three-pronged review into RDR, as well as those of adviser bodies such as the Association of Professional Financial Advisers (APFA).
Conservative MP and TSC member Mark Garnier said there would be a review at an event organised by New City Initiative on banking reform in the House of Commons on Wednesday.
The RDR, which came into force on 31 December last year, changed the advisory landscape, introducing higher minimum qualifications, banning the payment of commission on retail investment business and re-shaping what it means to be 'independent'.
The impact of the ban on commission will be a central focus of the probe, Garnier said.
He added finding out why many organisations, including a number of banks, have pulled out of offering financial advice is also "crucial".
Garnier, who, alongside Harriett Baldwin, arranged a debate into RDR in the House of Commons in 2010, said: "From what I am seeing, there have been a number of problems [with the RDR]. "Will my constituents be able to access independent financial advice? If not, there is a problem. The RDR has a crucial effect on a huge number of peoples' savings."
Parliament is responsible for overseeing the regulatory decisions made by the FCA, Garnier said.
"The regulator needs to be independent, but ultimately is answerable to parliament," Garnier continued. "What we have to do in parliament is to make sure it is doing what we asked it to in the first place. It is right that the regulator should be independent but equally parliament should hold to account regulators."
The TSC is waiting to begin the review until Spring next year, Garnier said, because its members collectively decided it was too soon to get an accurate view of the "direction of travel" the RDR had taken.
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