Tory Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mark Hoban says the Government will interfere in pensions and “salami-slice” away A-Day reforms.Hoban says in other areas, such as the taxation of small companies, the Government has introduced significant tax concessions, only to remove them piece by piece. Following Treasury Econ-omic Secretary Ed Balls’ recent statement on alternatively secured pensions, Hoban says the industry must guard against the Government undoing other A-Day changes. He says: “We have seen the Government in other areas introduce significant tax concessions which are then salami-sliced away. We need to be careful not to end up with a regime where the freedoms given to encourage pensions are eroded completely.” Hoban says although there are Government exceptions for religious groups in some areas such as education, it is hard to see how a similar move can be enf-orced in financial services. He says during that the committee stage of this year’s Finance Bill, he forced Balls to state that the Government would not interfere with the tax-free lump sum and he pledges to hold the Government to account on the issue. Hoban says the FSA is right to move to a principle-based regime but it must do more to ensure there is better communication with advisers on treating customers fairly. He says: “A lot of advisers have the anxiety that the FSA at a senior level has bought into a principle-based approach but how does this apply further down? We need to see an improvement in the relationship between the FSA and advisers so all the regulator’s staff can clearly explain TCF to small firms.” Hoban says the National Audit Office review of the FSA will be a rigorous examination and help reassure advisers that money is being spent wisely. With the debate over commission bias, Hoban is concerned that any move to crack down in this area and force a move to a fee-based regime would cut the number of people seeking financial advice. He says he is not sure how much appetite the public have for fee-based remuneration and, as long as advisers are applying TCF principles, there is nothing wrong with commission.
Origo has removed the per-sonal liability that each adv-iser bears under its Unipass digital certificate contracts following user concerns. Origo managing director Paul Pettitt says the move was made after feedback from users, notably Sesame, unhappy about a clause in the contract suggesting personal adviser liabilities of up to 15,000. Pettitt says Origo has been […]
Former HBOS head of intermediary business Grenville Turner is to take over as managing director of estate agency Countrywide in January. He replaces Harry Hill who becomes chairman when Christopher Sporborg retires at the end of the year.
Chelverton Asset Management is set to introduce an version of its 57m small companies dividend investment trust this autumn. Fund manager David Taylor and David Horner and will mirror the investment trust portfolio by targeting small and mid-cap stocks that yield at least 4 per cent annually. The fund will predominantly invest in small and […]
Canada Life IHT Survey 2016 Only a quarter of wealthy Brits have sought professional estate planning advice to ensure their families don’t pay more tax than required More than a quarter don’t even have a will and just one in five have gifted money Many say they do not need these tools but families would […]
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The Government should make it easier for advisers to sell products that blend income drawdown with insurance to meet future care costs, according to former pensions minister Steve Webb. A paper published today by Royal London calls on the Government to introduce policy changes which allow new products to be created that pay for long-term […]
Independent governance committees at big-name pension providers are failing to safeguard the interests of savers and the FCA must take action, fresh research finds. In 2015, the FCA required contract-based pension providers to appoint IGCs to act as champions of savers’ interests. IGCs are required to publish annual reports to increase transparency and encourage comparison […]
The FCA is reviewing the content of its pension transfer specialist examination standard in light of recent issues with pension transfer advice, Money Marketing understands. The regulator does not offer qualifications but it does have a role in setting standards for exams and publishes “appropriate examination standards” guidance. Money Marketing understands a working group, mostly […]