The RDR is bound to disappoint because it will fail to meet its public policy objectives and widen the advice gap, according to wealth manager Fowler Drew.
A damning report by the firm's founder Stuart Fowler concludes the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) has "serious flaws" and will fail to achieve its stated aim of lowering the cost of advice and increasing public access to it.
"I find serious flaws in both concept and delivery," his report said. "These flaws mean RDR will almost certainly disappoint expectations and by effectively increasing exclusion may well do more harm than its questionable capacity for good."
The scathing criticism of the reforms comes as the Treasury Select Committee (TSC) today called for a 12 month delay to RDR implementation in its eagerly anticipated report.
However, the FSA said it remains committed to the January 2013 implementation.
According to Fowler, the RDR will accelerate the widening of the advice gap.
The report said the regulator's challenge to the industry to create a simplified advice model is "seriously hindered" due to its insistence this should meet the same suitability tests as full advice.
But the report said such a model offers the only hope - short of scrapping RDR - of bridging the advice gap.
Writing ahead of release of the TSC report, Fowler said it would be a "good thing" if the committee recognises the burden of proof has not been met but said its intervention has ultimately come too late.
But he added the TSC can play a part in rescuing simplified advice and helping to scrap the "unwarranted and confusing" distinction between independent and restricted advice.
To read the report click here
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