Published by Frank Dolan on 11 January 2013 in Business

A Lesson From The Ostrich

So, the Mayans were wrong and – unless I’m very much mistaken – the world did not come to an apocalyptic end on December 21st, 2012. I appear to be still here and, if you are reading this, then you are too. The probability that the Mayans were wrong didn’t stop a frenzy of preparation though. People bought and built shelters (why would you bother?), stocked up on canned food (again, why bother? The world was ending…) and TV crews were dispatched to watch a mountain take off into outer space – yes, really. Amazing. Unbelievable.

Others merely carried on as normal, probably disbelieving but none the less accepting that if the world did come to an end, there wasn’t much they could do about it.

The real apocalypse arrived though, not with a bang but with a whimper. As promised, it happened on December 31st, 2012 when it came and went without fuss, fanfare or explosion – except from some rather good firework displays….

People partied, drank too much and sang ‘Auld Lang Syne’ at midnight – and then it was January 1st, 2013. Sssh! Whisper it quietly – RDR-day was a non-event.

January 2nd, 2013 was no different than any previous day for those who had prepared, kept clients informed and generally readied themselves for the day of change. Yes, some have had waivers granted by the FSA but in many cases this is because of illness, bereavement or some other catastrophe. These people who have genuine reasons for a waiver deserve sympathy and it is right that the otherwise stern and apparently inflexible regulator should make appropriate exceptions.

To the others who have now found themselves without authorisation – I’m sorry, but you only have yuorselves to blame. RDR was not foisted on us at short notice, there were years to prepare – granted, not as many years notice as the Mayans gave us – and, for those whose eyes and ears were open and looking for early warning signs of change, it was an inevitability. Indeed, some of us wonder why it took so long, yet it seems many advisers adopted the ostrich strategy by ignoring it all and hoping it would go away. Oh dear. Still, this did prove at least one important thing; some (many?) of those who blathered “I’ve been doing this for over 20 years without ever having a complaint, why do I need to take exams?” did so because they couldn’t pass the exams, even with study and revision.

To those who adopted the ostrich strategy and buried their heads in the sand and to anyone who is considering adopting this tactic from the animal world, it has once again been proven that there is one major flaw in the ostrich’s tactics.

If you bury your head in the sand, it leaves your backside exposed.

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