Mark Lisle, compliance manager at Rowanmoor Pensions, says the regulation of the product rather than its sale will always be a more effective option to ensure consumer protection.
As we navigate the road to the post-RDR world, the very onomatopoeic mention of RDR still, as it has done for the last few years, conjures up the vision in my mind’s eye (without trying; a bit like Reggie Perrin’s hippopotamus) of the old cartoon character Hardy Har Har.
For those unfamiliar with the work of Hanna Barbera, Hardy was a hyena, the side-kick of the loquacious Lippy the Lion.
Lippy was a lion on the make, always cutting corners trying to come up with some get-rich-quick scheme. Perhaps not so much a recidivist than a misguided idealist with a different perspective to the rest of the pride, his deeds were perennially doomed and usually ended in tears, tears that were always predicted by his fatalistically co-opted cohort Hardy.
Why RDR reminds Mark Lisle of Lippy the Lion and his manic depressive sidekick
You see, Hardy Har Har was cast against type as a hyena with a difference; far from being a laughing cavalier in the cartoon stylings of Disney’s hyenas in The Lion King, he was afflicted with what we would probably characterise in the modern vernacular as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) or, in old parlance, clinical depression.
When people talk about RDR readiness, or 'RDRR' if you'll permit me, I can’t help but think of the parallels between the cartoon and the reality of the impending change in regulation.
Notwithstanding the admirable desire for improving professional standards, in a marketplace where one in five adults has a mortgage with no associated life cover, and people are 19 times more likely to be off work for more than six months due to illness or injury than they are to die before the age of 65, the major focus of attention of a regulator with a consumer protection mandate is to address product bias, using a desire for transparency as a device.
The regulation of the product rather than its sale will always be a more effective option to ensure consumer protection. However that would be too easy, like it would be too easy for Lippy to legitimise his operations.
So there it is; the chancer on the make, having the failure of his endeavours predicted by the judgemental doom-monger, the benign influence of which can be seen to enable the collapse of the venture, against a backdrop of fatalistic negativity.
Perhaps it is more than simple onomatopoeia that stirs that subconscious image.
As Hardy would say, “Oh me, oh my, oh dear.”
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