A website for IFAs detailing updates, commentary and opinion on the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) has been launched by Winterthur.
The firm says the site has been set up following uncertainty among advisers during their roadshows about how the RDR will affect their businesses at ground level.
It says it will provide advisers with a resource to access the latest thinking around the review and to guide them through the proposed changes as the discussion paper reaches its conclusion at the end of December.
David Thompson, managing director at Winterthur, says: “Following the Winterthur high net worth roadshow in May 2007, it was clear that, while advisers were aware of the Review, they were less clear on what it really means to them and what changes they might need to consider to their business model in order that they take advantage of the changes.
“Winterthur's Review of Retail Distribution web service has therefore been launched in direct response to this need.
“Flawed, over-complicated and unfair – these are just a few terms levelled at the current system of financial product distribution in the UK.
“There's no doubt that the current model of distribution needs revision, but it has strengths which advisers and providers have worked together to develop, and one hopes these will not be overlooked in the FSA review.
“This is why it is critical that advisers fully engage with the RDR – which is arguably the most wide-reaching investigation since The Financial Services Act in 1986."
The discussion paper represents ideas from the market and consumer representatives involved in the RDR, and follows six months work to address the root causes of persistent problems in the retail investment market.
The site will include a document library containing Winterthur's views and copies of RDR related press releases, as well as relevant information from the ABI and the FSA.
There will also be quick links page with links through to the ABI, FSA, AIFA and other relevant online resources.
In addition, Winterthur says a dedicated mailbox to post questions directly to Mike Morrison, Winterthur's pensions strategy manager, for up-to-date responses to advisers' RDR queries, will be available.
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