The chair of the Financial Services Consumer Panel (FSCP) has said the FSA's two-page consumer guide to the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) does not go far enough to explain upcoming changes to financial advice.
Published earlier today by the regulator, the guide represents its first proactive effort to communicate the outcomes of the Review to the public.
However, FSCP chair Adam Phillips said the FSA had missed an opportunity to provide a more comprehensive summary of the reforms.
"I would have preferred to see something more extensive," he said. "Consumers who are already working with a financial adviser may want a more independent view than what the adviser is telling them, and that takes more than two sides of A4.
"I would have also thought advisers themselves might have welcomed a document which they could give to their clients."
Philips was particularly critical of the FSA's descriptions of restricted and independent advice, with the guide saying restricted practitioners may "offer limited advice on a smaller range of products".
Phillips said: "I know what that means because I've read the consultation papers but to the average person, what is 'limited advice' and what is a 'smaller range of products'?
"If they had a larger sheet of paper to write on, they could have perhaps given a few examples."
While he is expecting to see the FSA and the Money Advice Service do more this year to explain the RDR to the public, Phillips said the most important role was to be played by financial advisers themselves.
"They are going to meet their customers and potential customers and I would have thought it would be helpful for the FSA to give them a bit more material to promote their business."
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