UK Retail Distribution Review: Key Challenges and Implications for Change and IT

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1 November 2011


There are less than 14 months to go until the UK Retail Distribution Review (RDR) takes effect, and many life and pension companies are in the middle of planning their implementations. New standards of professionalism and transparency are driving major change across the life, pensions, and retail investment industries.

Due to start on 31 December 2012, this legislation will introduce major changes to the way that new long-term savings and investment is sold across the UK (the most notable of which is the move from product-based commission towards transparent advise charges). In a new report, Retail Distribution Review: Key Challenges and Implications for Change and IT, Celent looks at the opportunities and challenges that this regulation presents and considers the potential implications for technology.

“With potential spending of up to £150 million being forecastamong product providers to implement the compliance changes in 2012 alone, and with more being planned to support new propositions beyond 2012, this regulation has the promise of forcing major structural change across the industry. Next year will be tough as many firms seek to deliver the minimum compliance changesacross their complex legacy landscapesalongside other regulatory priorities, and at the same time work out their distribution strategy and future propositions,” says Jamie Macgregor, Senior Analyst with Celent’s Insurance group and author of the report. “The roles of the change and IT communities are critical to help the business navigate changes and deliver business value.”

This report reviews how RDR regulation will impact the industry, exploring some of the key operational and technological challenges for distribution and product providers, and examining the implications for the role of the change and IT directors.

Trends and data discussed in this report reflect Celent’s experience of the market based on ongoing discussions with the industry and, specifically, 22 interviews conducted across both the industry and technology partners supporting the implementation of RDR as well as a survey across five of the top product providers (representing approximately 40% of the market) to understand their level of readiness.