The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has completed its consultation on the Retail Distribution Review (RDR), according to Lansons' head of regulatory consulting.
At a Panacea IFA event Richard Hobbs said a speech by Linda Woodall on 17 April marked turning point in how advisers should view RDR.
"Linda Woodall is the head of supervision, but you would have expected this to come from Peter Smith, the head of conduct policy," he said.
"That's telling you something. RDR has moved out of the policy department, and in to supervision. As far as they are concerned, RDR is finished."
Hobbs, who worked for the FSA between 2000 and 2002, said the regulator communicates through speeches.
"They regard them as being important, it's where they say things in a nuanced way they couldn't say in policy documents. They get very frustrated when you don't read them."
Hector Sants has even taken to sending hard copies to the CEOs of big insurance companies outlining their meanings, he alleged.
Former IFA Association director-general Garry Heath said the policy of regulation through speeches amounted to a "Romanian dictatorship".
Privately, the FSA appeared bereft of ideas on how best to promote RDR to consumers, Hobbs said.
"You're looking at something like £25m of advertising [for a consumer campaign]," he said. "You're not going to pay for it, and they certainly aren't."
"They are in conversation with the Money Advice Service and they will change their website to accommodate RDR shortly - [but] what you are seeing here is a very insipid approach to the problem."
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