The RDR fails to meet its original objectives on the key issues of qualifications and increasing access to advice, according to new research.
The study, by CWC Research in association with BNP Paribas, says qualification proposals do not match the original intentions of the RDR and the drift up-market will deprive the mass market of access to advice.
Clive Waller, of CWC Research, says the new qualification requirements are disruptive, distracting and disappointing.
"It is unreasonable to ask 60-year-olds to take a whole new set of exams," says Waller.
He suggests using a qualification system similar to that used by GPs, whereby advisers can deal with those issues on which they are qualified. They would then refer clients to other advisers where they lack the necessary knowledge.
Waller's view was backed by AIFA director general Chris Cummings, who says the current framework is anything from six to 18 months behind.
"How can we expect firms to jump that high if they don't know where the ground is?" he says, referring to the qualification guidelines. "I would be comforted by a GP-style of qualification where advisers can refer."
Waller also warns the FSA's proposals do not address clients' savings and pension plans and could be detrimental to the vast majority of the population.
"It is bad news if you are not relatively wealthy now, are young and starting out, are not in a good pension scheme - in fact most of the population."
He rounds off his stinging attack on the FSA's proposals by predicting that ultimately 20-40% of advisers will be lost as a result of the RDR.
CWC conducted interviews with over 100 individuals at 70 IFA firms and ten board level employees or divisional managers of nationals and networks.
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