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&#39Cat could become hallmark&#39

The Treasury&#39s preference for passive over actively managed funds is one of the driving forces behind Catmarked Isas, says FSA conduct of business standards department manager Brenda Gibson.

Speaking at the Sofa conference in Birmingham last week, Gibson said: “The Treasury is a fan of passive, not active, fund management. Cat standards throw down the gauntlet on charges. They are a bit New Labourish, representing the savings for all point the Treasury is trying to get across.”

Gibson, who spent two years as project manager of the FSA conduct of business sourcebook, said the Treasury was moving away from Cat meaning charges, access and terms, to a more general brand or hallmark. She says a flexible interpretation would be necessary to extend Cats to other products.

She also said the Treasury is still looking at stratified levels of advice such as the financial healthcheck.

Hargreaves Lansdown head of research Mark Dampier says: “There are too many so-called actively managed funds there that should be called passive. I think the Treasury will be proved to be entirely wrong because as soon as the statis-tics appear to be on your side, things turn around.”

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