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The Retail Distribution Review

There are changes which will affect the financial services industry and which are due to be introduced on 1st January 2013. These changes are being instigated by the Financial Services Authority as a result of the Retail Distribution Review.

Summary of the changes

A clearer distinction between ‘independent’ and ‘restricted’ advice.

  • Commission payments to be replaced by fees agreed by adviser and client.
  • The need for all advisers to become more highly qualified.
  • The need for all advisory businesses to be more highly capitalised.

A review of our business

As a result of these changes, we have been conducting a fundamental review of our business. The fact is that we spend 90% of our time reviewing the affairs of existing clients and this percentage is likely to increase. We therefore need to allow for this going forward and devote more resources to providing a more comprehensive ongoing service.

Working more closely with you

We have known for some time that we would prefer to work more closely with, and provide a more clearly defined service to, fewer selected clients. Attempting to provide any level of service to all 3,500 clients on our system has proved difficult to say the least and has restricted the service we are able to provide to our core clients. We therefore plan to introduce a range of service propositions aimed at these core clients whom we expect to number approximately 400 (excluding members of group pension schemes). We plan to offer three service levels ranging from our Annual Review Service, which will be conducted by post or email, to our comprehensive Partnership Service which will involve six-monthly face to face review meetings and a number of additional features. With current resources, we expect to be able to offer our Partnership Service to approximately 100 clients.

The benefits to you

During this process we have focused on the following benefits to clients and will continue to do so:


  1.  A commitment to all clients that we will continue to provide independent, unbiased advice.
  2. Each client will know precisely the level of service they can expect from us.
  3. The cost of providing this service and any charges incurred will be fully explained.
  4. Harrold Financial Planning Ltd will be able to deliver this service on a sustainable basis.