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&#39With-profits boosted by manipulating figures&#39

Skandia has made a scathing attack on with-profits in its response to the Sandler review, saying figures are manipulated to boost sales and mislead consumers.

Britannic Asset Management is calling on the Government to provide means-tested free advice in its Sandler response, saying this would encourage more people to save than child trust funds.

Skandia says reduction in yield figures are artificial and policyholders&#39 returns are held back to build up orphan assets, which mislead consumers.

The FSA also gets a dressing down in Skandia&#39s response, with FSA staff accused of having no und-erstanding of the market, making them unfit to educate the public.

IFAs have, however, been given resounding support from product prov-iders and industry trade bodies in their responses to the review.

Sandler has been told that IFAs are a vital distribution channel and act as a positive force for the consumer.

Providers have stated the case for commission, saying it should not be scrapped or restricted. Norwich Union has demonstrated the strengths of IFAs&#39 investment knowledge in its response.

Providers also voiced strong opposition to further price controls and product regulation, saying product design should be left to the industry.

Skandia senior manager (pensions development) Brian Newbould says: “We are looking for a level playing field with with-profits offices. Reduction in yield numbers are artificial and figures are manipulated for marketing purposes.”

Sandler responses, p20, 22, 23

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