An outspoken critic of the new qualification requirements for advisers has revealed he considered 'passporting' his business into the UK from Dublin in a bid to bypass the rules.
Alan Lakey, partner at Highclere Financial Services, last year likened revising for further examinations after decades in the industry to doing community service.
He said he considered applying to be regulated outside the UK but, after discussions with peers, feared providers would refuse to set up agencies with his business.
He has now decided to take the diploma in investment planning with qualification provider BPP which, if passed, would allow him to meet the FSA's new QCF Level 4 minimum qualification requirement.
"If I thought I could get all the agencies I currently have with all the small friendly societies and they would continue to deal with me I would come in with Dublin," he said (pictured).
"I had an interesting conversation with a director of a company last year and I asked him how he is going to treat firms who passport in and he said we will not give them agencies. That is my great fear."
But Lakey thinks many advisers will nevertheless opt to passport in to the UK to evade RDR rules.
"This will be very interesting - lots of firms out there will passport in from Dublin, Gibraltor or Cyprus and the FSA cannot do anything about it."
He added even advisers who are Level 4 qualified and beyond will opt for the passporting route.
"One guy has QCF 7 - he wants to avoid the FSA, the FOS and the switch to fees," he said. "The Irish ombudsman takes a different approach to the UK ombudsman."
In February, the Treasury confirmed the RDR will not impact the ability of firms based in Europe to advise clients in the UK. But it said the use of passporting for the sole purpose of evading regulation will not be permitted.
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