Retail Distribution Review and the regulator

The following Financial Services practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Retail Distribution Review and the regulator
  • The consumer protection objective
  • Publications establishing the RDR
  • Purpose and aims of the RDR
  • FSA guidance on the RDR

Retail Distribution Review and the regulator

BREXIT: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 (‘IP completion day’) marked the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Following IP completion day, key transitional arrangements come to an end and significant changes begin to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see: Brexit and financial services: materials on the post-Brexit UK/EU regulatory regime.

This Practice Note looks at the work of the Financial Conduct authority (FCA) and its predecessor the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in relation to the retail distribution review (RDR). The RDR was set up in June 2006 and targets the quality and standard of advice available to consumers of financial services. The review is an important part of the regulator’s consumer protection objective. Its aim was to improve clarity for people who want to invest, raise professional standards and reduce possible conflicts in relation to remuneration.

The consumer protection objective

The FCA has been given four statutory objectives under section 2(2) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA 2000, s 2(2)) which are supported by Principles of good regulation. These are:

  1. maintaining market confidence

  2. contributing to financial stability

  3. ensuring consumer protection, and

  4. reducing financial crime.

The consumer protection objective underpins the delivery of several high-profile initiatives which

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