Enforcement of the broadened definition of independent adviser status laid out in the RDR is likely to be "very difficult", says Tenet's distribution and development director Keith Richards.
Meanwhile, Resources Compliance UK managing director Simon Collins says "best endeavours" at a fair analysis of the market is all advisers can do when faced with the "challenge" of remaining independent post-2012.
Their comments were part of a Personal Finance Society live debate on Labelling and Disclosure yesterday.
Answering questions from advisers wanting to clarify the difference between the new and existing definitions, Richards says: "Independent in the future will be more demanding. It has to encompass a broader range of investment advice than is currently evident in the market."
But he raised scepticism about how this would be policed in practice following the widening out of the idea of packaged products to include structured products, investment trusts, and ETFs among others.
"It is very difficult to see how you will manage enforcement of this."
Increased consumer clarity on issues such as independence is fundamental to the FSA's program of industry changes.
"If it doesn't work we have spent an awful long time, money and effort on not getting any further," said Collins.
With consumer trust in the industry so low, the industry can not afford to confuse the people it is trying to deal with he said.
The specialist route is likely to develop in the future, according to the pair, "because it is going to be impossible for everyone to be an expert on everything".
Multi-tied advice will stick around in the very specialist area but it is "difficult to see why advisers would choose multi-tie over independent" post 2012, says Richards.
Neither expects a significant switch of IFAs to a restricted model unless the differentiator between independent and restricted becomes much greater.
A recorded version of yesterday's debate is available to watch at the PFS site
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