After years of a complex and opaque financial services remuneration systems, tales of dishonest wealth and pensioner exploitation and about a year of planning, in January 2013 the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) decided to act.

In one swift move, they launched the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) – aimed at improving service levels and transparency in the financial advice industry and increasing the professional standards of investment advisers.

Under this regulation, financial advisers were required to introduce fee-based models and were banned from earning commission from fund management companies in return for selling or recommending investment products. They also had to offer either “independent” or “restricted” advice and explain the difference to clients.

At the heart of the RDR was an increased focus on transparency and the need to put client service at the centre of business models.

Will Maye, from the CoreData London office, files a series of reports about what has changed, what life is like now and the potential lessons for Australians as their industry follows fast in the English footsteps.

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