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How the regulator’s reviews will unfold

All indicators point to the regulator being less accepting of RDR non-compliance after the first review cycle. Here's a quick rundown of the regulator's review timetable.

January 2013

Linda Woodall (pictured), FSA head of investment intermediaries, unveiled plans for four thematic reviews aimed at ensuring the successful implementation of the retail distribution review (RDR).

The reviews into professionalism, charging structures, description of advice, and market distortions, will be carried out in three cycles of six months each.

7-29 January 2013

The FSA started the professionalism review requiring firms to send it data on advisers’ qualifications and accredited body membership.

29 January 2013

The regulator moved to reassure advisers it would not take enforcement action over confusion it uncovers in its first cycle of thematic reviews.

February 2013

The FSA kicked off its review into adviser charging and the description of advice, combining two thematic reviews into one.

March 2013

The regulator will complete its cross checking of firms’ data on advisers’ qualifications, and publish its findings from the professionalism review. Work with laggards will be ongoing.

April 2013

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will become operational, headed up by incoming chief executive Martin Wheatley (pictured). It is widely anticipated to have a more intrusive approach than its predecessor.

The review into market distortions, practices that go against the spirit of the RDR, will kick off. It will run until the end of the year.

July 2013

The FCA will launch the second cycle of its review of adviser charging and the description of service with a less tolerant approach to firms found to be out of step with the RDR rules.

January 2014

The third cycle of its adviser charging and description of service review will launch, and after six months the FCA will have a ‘statistically significant’ sample of adviser progress on RDR implementation.

End of 2014

The regulator intends to measure and publish the short-term RDR ‘success’ indicators of how well customers understand the difference between restricted and independent advice, firms adhere to the new rules and advisers meet the professionalism standards expected of them.