So, 31 December - and the implementation of the RDR changes - came, and went, and not a lot happened at all. It was a bit like that Mayan thing, though the predictions were a little less apocalyptic. But only just.
For the doomsayers, the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) is going to herald two huge changes: fewer advisers and fewer consumers seeking (or being able to pay for) advice.
No doubt over the next few months you will read plenty of anecdotal evidence about the impact the RDR is having, though I suspect it’ll be at least a year before we start to see any changes we can reliably attribute to the RDR.
Even then, we may be spoon-fed information pulled together by the Financial Conduct Authority, which may or may not be inclined to paint a rosy picture of the post-RDR world regardless of what it finds.
From the Editor
In the meantime, individual firms will be able to observe the impact it is having, not only by reluctantly peeking at their bottom lines, but also via the Retail Mediation Activities Return forms they must send to the regulator twice a year.
For those of you yet to start yours, from 31 December these forms have looked a little different: two new sections have been added so firms can provide data on adviser charging revenue, payment methods, client numbers and charging structures.
The regulator has also made minor changes to existing sections, including the profit and loss account and the training and competence columns, to reflect the changes that have been made.
That should give us all an idea of the on-the-ground effect the RDR is having on the number of clients firms are seeing come through the doors.
In the meantime, we will all be playing a game of wait-and-see.
Scott Sinclair is editor of Professional Adviser and IFAonline.co.uk
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