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The RDR and consumers

A research report into consumer views on the financial advice regulatory reforms

Publication date:

18 February 2013

Last updated:

22 September 2017


Policy and Public Affairs

A consumer survey assessing awareness of the financial advice market changes, and the potential benefits of this market.

In 2011, the CII conducted a survey assessing public understanding of the RDR changes.

This new report, reflecting survey work conducted just after the RDR came into force, updates these findings shows that at least 5.3 million consumers who had previously rejected advice may reconsider it as a result of the changes.

  • Awareness of the RDR changes has increased since 2011 but still more work is needed: about a third (32%) of those who have never received advice are aware of the professionalism changes under the RDR, up from about a fifth (19%) in 2011. Among those who have received advice, just half know about the professionalism changes, compared to two-thirds (64%) who are aware that advisers can no longer take commission.
  • Financial situation and the desire to self-advise are the main reasons people haven't received advice: about half cite financial situation (35% do not have the money to invest plus 16% cannot afford an adviser). Of the rest, a fifth chose the self-advising option introduced in this year's survey, 16% have never really thought about financial advice, and the rest were down to lack of trust (7%) or a preference for other sources (6%).
  • Knowledge of the RDR changes among the unadvised population could bring at least 5 million new customers to this market: just over a third (36%) said they might or would definitely consider financial advice in the light of the RDR. This equates to 5.3 million new customers. But this could rise to as many as 14 million, taking into account the others who self-advise or do not trust the market.
  • Advised customers are very positive about the RDR: 61% think the RDR will improve their confidence in advice. This percentage increases by 5% for women; and by 10% for those aged 25-44.

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See our previous report, published in 2011:

webpage_icon  The Money Advice Service, financial capability and the Retail Distribution Review »


This document is believed to be accurate but is not intended as a basis of knowledge upon which advice can be given. Neither the author (personal or corporate), the CII group, local institute or Society, or any of the officers or employees of those organisations accept any responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the data or opinions included in this material. Opinions expressed are those of the author or authors and not necessarily those of the CII group, local institutes, or Societies.


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