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30th January 2013
Where BRI Stands on RDR

The Retail Distribution Review (RDR) was set up with the aim to improve clarity for people who are looking to invest, raise the professional standards of advisors and reduce the conflict of interest which is found in remuneration for advisor services.

Knowing how much advice will cost:

Firms will be required to ensure that any costs for advice and management are clear and agreed with the client beforehand. Where BRI provides investment management services to clients we will typically charge you an annual management fee and commission on buying and selling investments. From 1st January 2013 any new unit trust investment will be made into commission free units. For clients this will typically lower the underlying cost of holding these investments.

Where BRI provide financial planning advice (as opposed to investment management services) the costs of the advice will be agreed in advance.

Improving professional qualifications and standards:

Anyone providing advice on investments will be required to hold a suitable qualification and adhere to new industry standards and a code of ethics.

All BRI advisors hold the necessary qualification and in most cases much higher level qualifications than the new rules require. All our advisors are members of a professional body and hold the necessary ‘statement of professional standing’ required by the new rules.

Scope of advice:

Firms will be required to make clear whether they offer independent or restricted advice. This area of the new regulations has been quite controversial due to the way in which the rules have been set out.

BRI investment managers offer restricted advice under the new rules. They will still select from a wide investment universe but because our investment managers do not give advice in relation to life products, pensions and some other products they will be classed as restricted.

BRI also has a financial planning department run by Mrs Hannah Edwards and supported by Andrew Gillett, both of whom are chartered financial planners. Both Hannah and Andy provide independent financial advice covering investments, pensions and life assurance however where they provide advice to invest into BRI’s own ISA or SIPP this will be classed as restricted advice.

All the regulatory changes outlined above are consistent with BRI’s own approach to providing high quality, professional services and I would like to assure you that we will continue to offer the standards of service and professionalism that you have come to expect from us.

The FSA have issued a consumer guide on RDR which can be found at: http://www.fsa.gov.uk/static/pubs/consumer_info/rdr-consumer-guide.pdf