Commenting on the Treasury Select Committee’s call for the RDR to be delayed, David Thompson, managing director, AXA Wealth UK Distributors, says that any delay may negatively impact consumers, and believes that the industry will have had time to get qualified by the deadline.
Indeed, AXA Wealth is encouraging staff within their distribution teams, who have regular face-to-face contact with the IFA community, to take the exams required to reach QCF Level 4 by 31st December 2012.
These exams are approximately equivalent to the first year of a university degree. Nearly half of the 120-strong sales team are already QCF Level 4 qualified and 23 have achieved Chartered Financial Planner status. All members of the distribution team, which offers support and value-add services to IFAs, will sit exam module RO1 Financial Services, Regulation and Ethics.
David Thompson, who has overall responsibility for the distribution teams, said: “The Retail Distribution Review is not just about increasing transparency in charging structures, but it is also about improving the financial qualifications of financial advisers with the requirement that they reach a minimum industry-wide standard. We feel that if the RDR is to achieve this aim of improving professionalism and ethical standards with codes of conduct, then our business development managers must be at the same level as the IFAs they support. As a result, the company is actively supporting our staff and we are currently on track for all our team members to have RO1 by the end of 2011.”
Source : AXA Wealth